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China condemns US-Korean naval drills

Associated Press / August 13, 2010

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BEIJING — China’s military yesterday condemned a second round of US-South Korean naval drills planned in the Yellow Sea in the coming weeks, vowing it would respond in kind.

Beijing opposes actions by foreign military ships and planes in waters near its coast that could “affect China’s security interests,’’ the military’s newspaper People’s Liberation Army Daily said in an editorial.

“If no one harms me, I harm no one, but if someone harms me, I must harm them,’’ said the editorial, signed by Major General Luo Yuan, a frequent outspoken commentator on military matters.

“As far as the Chinese people and the Chinese military are concerned, these are not joking remarks,’’ Luo wrote.

China has repeatedly criticized the drills, saying they risked heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula and ignored its objections.

The expected participation of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington is particularly irksome to China because of its status as a symbol of US power in the Pacific and the possibility of its F-18 warplanes flying within range of Beijing.

The exercises are the second in a series of US-South Korean maneuvers to be conducted in the East Sea off Korea and the Yellow Sea. No date has been announced, but they are expected to occur in the coming weeks. The first maneuvers were conducted last week.

Although the Yellow Sea consists mostly of international waters, China regards it as lying within its vaguely defined security perimeter.

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