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China criticizes U.S. B-52 bomber missions as ‘provocative’

BEIJING – China has referred to a recent mission by a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bombers over the disputed South china Sea as “provocative.”

Ministry of defence spokesman said Ren Guoqiang said at a monthly briefing on Thursday that China would respond with all measures deemed necessary for the preservation of the rights and interests.

Two B-52s flew over the strategic waterway, claimed by China earlier this week, in what the Pentagon called a routine mission.

Asked Wednesday about the flights, the US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said, “there is nothing out of the ordinary”.

China has sought to strengthen its claim to the South china Sea, and by the construction of seven islands, reefs, and equip them with military facilities such as runways, radar domes and missile systems. Five other governments claim territory in the area.

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