China has indisputable sovereignty over South China Sea, says its foreign ministry

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Beijing [China], Feb.22 (ANI): Rejecting the contention of the United States that China is building structures on the South China Sea islands for possible use to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, the country's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that no country could question Beijing's right over the South China and its adjacent waters. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media and his daily briefing, "We have seen these reports. China has indisputable sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao (South China Sea) and the adjacent waters. China firmly safeguards its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests." "Meanwhile, we are always committed to resolving relevant disputes in a peaceful way with countries directly concerned through dialogue and consultation and to collectively maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea with ASEAN countries," he added. "I want to reiterate that China carrying out normal facility construction, including deploying necessary and appropriate national defense facilities, on its own territory, is exercising a right bestowed by international law to sovereign states. Thanks to the concerted efforts made by China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is improving in a sound and steady way. We hope that non-regional countries can truly respect the efforts made by regional countries and do more for regional peace and stability," he stated further. China's response came after Washington claimed that Beijing has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles. The South China Sea carries a third of the world's maritime traffic. Apart from China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have also staked a claim to these waters. The Donald Trump administration has described China's island building in the South China Sea as illegal. A Pentagon spokesman said the United States remained committed to "non-militarization in the South China Sea" and urged all claimants to take actions consistent with international law. (ANI)