A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on February 9 that the United States is the number one country in surveillance and reconnaissance, and urged the country to put an immediate end to close-in reconnaissance around China.
Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a daily press briefing, in response to media reports that Namibia recently found in its waters a U.S. saildrone used to gather data under water. She also mentioned that the latest data released by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a think tank, showed that 64 sorties of U.S. military land-based reconnaissance aircraft were spotted over the South China Sea in January this year.
Calling the United States the number one country in surveillance and reconnaissance, Mao said it has long-running intelligence programs across the globe.
The U.S. aircraft and warships frequently conduct close-in reconnaissance around China, which seriously threatens China's national security and undermines regional peace and stability, said the spokesperson.
"The Chinese side has repeatedly voiced our grave concerns. The United States needs to put an immediate end to such provocations," she added.