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article imageChina protests military exercise plans by US and South Korea

By Michael Krebs     Nov 26, 2010 in World
As the United States and South Korea prepare for military exercises in the Yellow Sea following the recent shelling by North Korea, China has expressed its public opposition to the exercises.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula remained high moving into the weekend, as China announced publicly its opposition to plans by American and South Korean military leaders to conduct exercises in the Yellow Sea this Sunday.
North Korea shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island on Tuesday, an incident that nearly sparked a more open war between the two countries and was widely condemned in the global community.
North Korea claimed the attack was due to South Korean military exercise provocations in disputed waters, but South Korea and its allies believe the attack was premeditated.
The South Korean military has since scrambled to assemble a response, and world leaders have called for restraint from both parties.
South Korean and U.S. forces have decided to conduct military exercises in a demonstration of coordinated force against the North Korean regime. Exercises are slated for Sunday.
"We hold a consistent and clear-cut stance on the issue," China said in a statement quoting Hong Lei, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, according to a Wall Street Journal report. "We oppose any party to take any military actions in our exclusive economic zone without permission."
The Chinese comments mark the first official protest to the U.S. and South Korean plans. China has historically used guarded language in reprimanding its troublesome North Korean neighbor, and has not openly blamed North Korea for the latest attack.
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