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Vice FM on China's stance over South China Sea disputes


05-24-2016 10:14 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

Chinese Foreign Ministry has published a transcript of meetings between Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and foreign media. Last Thursday Liu made a statement on China's stance over issues related to the South China Sea, and took questions from reporters.

The minister reviewed the history of South China Sea disputes, and rebutted reports saying that China is responsible for tensions in the region. He pointed out that China is just the latest country to carry out construction work on Chinese islands in the South China Sea. He said the building work is in reaction to changes in political circumstances in the region.

Minister Liu also responded to the United State's "Freedom of Navigation" Program. He said that China respects the legal rights of navigation and flight as entitled by international laws. But he said that the US should be especially cautious when exercising its rights in the South China Sea, saying it cannot violate the territorial sea and air space of China and neighbouring countries.

Liu Zhenmin said that the unilateral arbitration filed by the Philippines goes against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, also known as UNCLOS. He said China will not accept the results of the ruling, adding that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation between China and ASEAN countries. He said China will maintain the stability of the South China Sea through cooperation between relevant countries. He urged players to support that efforts, and not against it.

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