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China: We oppose wanton navigation in S. China Sea


05-27-2016 00:24 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

China has once again emphasised its support for the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, but is opposed to wanton navigation in the region. A Chinese military official made the remarks in Vientiane following the defense ministers meeting with ASEAN.

"Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan pointed out during last year's "10+8 Meeting", that the freedom of nagivation is actually a pseudo-proposition. The freedom of navigation has never been a question in the South China Sea in the past, or a question at present. If it becomes a question in the future, then definitely China should not be to blame," Guan Youfei, director of Office for Int'l Military Cooperation, Ccenteral Miliatry Commission, said.

"In accordance with international law, China resolutely supports and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight. If US warships and aircraft navigate and fly wantonly in the South China Sea, I will oppose these actions because they do not have any lawful basis for doing so. The freedom of wanton navigation is clearly different from the freedom of navigation -- the two are different in nature. So we hope that certain countries will refrain from jeopardizing the sovereignty and security of another country in the name of freedom of navigation."

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan made a three-point proposal at the meeting to boost defense and security cooperation with ASEAN. The first is a joint drill with the armies of the ASEAN countries in the South China Sea. It is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2017, in the southern Chinese city of Zhanjiang and its surrounding waters. Secondly, he proposed to intensify anti-terror cooperation, and thirdly, an exchange and cooperation between China's Southern Theater Command and the armies of ASEAN countries.

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