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China denies enhancing maritime strength by construction on Nansha Islands

China on Wednesday reiterated its construction activities on the Nansha islands and reefs are lawful, reasonable and justified, refuting accusations of enhancing its maritime strength by doing so.

"China's construction on the Nansha islands and reefs are within China's sovereignty. Even some senior U.S. officials said China's activities did not violate international law," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press briefing.

She blamed some countries' attempts to play up tensions in the region and hurt China's image, in order to cover up their illegal occupation of China's territory.

"Their illegal occupation is the root cause of the dispute in the South China Sea," Hua added.

Responding to a question that the United States will continue surveillance activities around the islands and reefs in the South China Sea to protect navigation freedom, Hua said the freedom of navigation "should not be taken as excuses by some countries for disregarding or hurting others' sovereignty, rights, navigation and aviation security."

She reiterated reconnaissance conducted by U.S. military aircraft is highly likely to cause untoward incidents in the waters and airspace, and is utterly dangerous and irresponsible.

Hua urged the U.S. to stop all irresponsible and proactive words and deeds to contribute to peace and stability in the sea.

She said the freedom of navigation and over-flight in no way means that foreign military vessels or aircraft can violate the international law and disregard the legitimate rights and the safety of over-flight and navigation of other countries.

In terms of navigation freedom, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea clearly states that peace, order and security of the coastal countries should not be undermined, Hua said.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 27May15]

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East China Sea Conflict
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