BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- China's Defense Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of regular reconnaissance by naval ships and aircraft in Chinese waters and airspace.
"Vessels and aircraft of the U.S. military have for a long time carried out frequent reconnaissance in waters and airspace under Chinese jurisdiction, which seriously affects China's national security and could easily cause accidents," spokesman Geng Yansheng said at a monthly briefing.
His comments came in response to a question regarding a Chinese naval ship's sailing in areas near the ongoing U.S.-organized RIMPAC (Exercise Rim of the Pacific) maritime exercise.
Geng said the ship's presence beyond U.S. territorial waters is in accordance with international and U.S. domestic laws.
"We expect the United States to respect the legitimate rights of the Chinese vessel," added the spokesman.
"The Chinese vessel's operation -- its scope, frequency and manner -- is far different from that of the U.S. vessels which frequently go on reconnaissance in Chinese waters and airspace," according to Geng.