China defends stance on South China Sea

Updated: 2016-05-25 21:33


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

BEIJING -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday defended the country's stance on the South China Sea, rejecting criticism from the United States, Japan and Western media.

Hua Chunying said at a routine press briefing that China's construction activities on its islands and reefs starting at the end of 2013 are aimed entirely at safeguarding its sovereignty and rights.

"China's construction in the South China Sea came later than other countries' illegal activities in the region," Hua said.

The United States "rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific" strategy and Philippine initiation of the South China Sea arbitration also came before China's island reclaiming, she said.

Hua's comments came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said China's actions in the South and East China Seas threatened to create a "tinderbox."

In Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Kerry said that he would caution China to not unilaterally move to reclaim and militarize islands, according to AP.

Hua, however, said that it was the growing U.S. military deployment and activities in the region that were creating tensions.

She also slammed Japan for hyping up the South China Sea issue ahead of the G7 summit. "As the world economy is facing such a complicated situation, the G7 summit should focus on global economic governance and cooperation," she said.

The "little trick" of Japan as the host of the G7 summit will do no good to G7 and will not be helpful to peace and stability in the South China Sea, Hus said.

More and more nations and international organizations are expressing understanding and support for China's stance on the South China Sea, she said.

Hua applauded the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's (SCO) "just and fair" position on the matter.

Foreign ministers of SCO countries said they were against the internationalization of and external interference into the South China Sea issue, according to a press communique released on Tuesday.