Washington: China's objection to the America's reconnaissance flights over the South China Sea region will not deter the US from flying in the international air space, a top Pentagon official said here on Tuesday.
"We won't be deterred from flying in international airspace," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told correspondents at a news conference.
Mullen has just returned from a trip to China, where he said these issues were discussed with his Chinese counterpart, General Chen Bingd, but differences persist.
"We do not agree on everything, and neither of us really expected that we would. There are still very real, very substantive issues between us that inhibit the sort of close cooperation and partnership we enjoy with other militaries in the region," he said.
"The Chinese object to Taiwan arm sales. We object to the use of coercion in settling disputes in the South China Sea. The Chinese don't like our routine reconnaissance flights in international airspace. And we don't like any attempt to inhibit freedom of navigation and access to the global commons, to include international waters and airspace," Mullen said.