China carrying out construction on islands to boost public services: Defense official

Updated: 2015-10-17 15:52


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China's construction on some of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea - including the latest lighthouses built - "are mainly for civil purposes" and will help China provide better public services to aid navigation, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong told the 6th Xiangshan Forum on Saturday.

The newly built lighthouses on the Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef, where garrisons are based, provide navigation assistance to ships of all countries, Fan added.

"As we have promised, the projects will not affect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Instead, they will enable us to provide better public services to aid navigation and movement in the South China Sea," Fan said.

On territorial issues, Fan said China has settled land border issues with the majority of neighbors through consultation.

"We will never recklessly resort to the use of force, even on issues that concern sovereignty, and have done our utmost to avoid unexpected conflicts. We will continue to resolve disputes and differences with directly related parties through friendly consultation, and are committed to working with relevant countries to maintain regional security and stability," he added.

On the Asia-Pacific, Fan said although disputes over territory and maritime rights and interests and threats from extremism, separatism and terrorism are still confronting regional countries, "peace, development and win-win cooperation remain the focus of the region".

"China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or dominance in any region. The Chinese military has always pursued a strategy featuring active defense," he said on China’s defense roles.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

"The loss of peace would bring profound suffering to people, and the absence of stability would leave development just empty talk," Fan said.