China rejects US query on military flight to disputed South China Sea island


BEIJING – China’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday rejected queries by the US military as to why China had used a military aircraft to evacuate sick workers from a new airport on an island China has built in the disputed South China Sea.

CNN quoted Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis as saying it was unclear why China had used a military aircraft rather than a civilian one in the landing on Fiery Cross Reef.

China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement its military’s tradition was to help those in need as part of its commitment to “wholeheartedly serve the people.”

“In sharp contrast, the US side is expressing doubts about whether it’s a military or civilian aircraft at a time when somebody’s life is in danger,” it said.

“We cannot but ask: if a US citizen suddenly took ill on US soil, would the US military look on with folded arms?”

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and the United States has no right to comment on China’s building works and defensive facilities there, the ministry said.

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