The US Department of Defense (DoD) has expressed its concerns regarding the recent decision on missile launches in the South China Sea by the People’s Republic of China.

The DoD said that it is ‘concerned’ about PRC’s decision to conduct military exercises scheduled between 23 and 29 August. These exercises include the firing of ballistic missiles around the Paracel Islands.

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It stated that the military exercises in the disputed territory in the South China Sea will be detrimental to the easing of tensions and the stability in the region.

The Pentagon also said that the actions violate the commitments of the PRC under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

The commitment outlines that the country would not undertake activities harming peace and stability.

These activities raise concerns regarding the PRC’s motivations with the ongoing talks for a Code of Conduct between ASEAN and China, according to the DoD.

NDTV said that China has constructed many military installations in the South China Sea over disputed reefs and outcroppings.

The DoD said in a statement: “This military exercise is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbours in the South China Sea.

“The PRC’s actions stand in contrast to its pledge to not militarise the South China Sea and are in contrast to the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, in which all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules and norms.”

It has asked the involved parties to not carry out military activities and maintain the tentative peace in the South China Sea.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear the country’s position on China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

The US rejected Beijing’s claim to waters beyond a 12nm territorial sea derived from islands it claims in the Spratly Islands.