MILCOM — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson used a visit to the port city of Qingdao on Wednesday to push back against Chinese bluster and deliver a message that the U.S. will continue to oppose China’s artificial islands and military buildup in the region.
“This will not change,” said Richardson, who visited the Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters in Qingdao and met with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai, the Navy said.
“The U.S. Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, including in the South China Sea, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all,” he said.
Richardson appealed to the Chinese to “take advantage of our common culture as sailors” to avoid confrontation, while calling on the government to stop the intimidation of regional allies and settle territorial disputes through negotiation.
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