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Military issues warning on meddling in South China Sea

By ZHANG ZHIHAO chinadaily.com.cn Updated : 2021-03-25 LargeMediumSmall Print

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This bird eye view shows the coral reefs in China's Xisha Islands, South China Sea, June 1, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese military is urging countries outside of the South China Sea to stop making trouble in the region, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said in a news briefing on Thursday.

"Through the joint effort of countries from the region, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and there is no issue regarding so-called 'freedom of navigation'," he said.

Ren made the remark in response to French warships and a submarine conducting patrols in the South China Sea last month. Germany and the United Kingdom have also announced plans to send warships to the region this year.

"Countries in the region and the international community can see clearly that security risks in the South China Sea come from the outside," he said.

"We hope relevant countries can take constructive measures in promoting peace and stability in the region, and not make trouble for no reason."

Ren said the world today is not what it was a century ago and China is also not what it was a century ago.

"China has always respected the rights of passage and flight in the South China Sea by other nations in accordance with international laws," he said.

"But we resolutely oppose anyone using freedom of navigation as an excuse to undermine the sovereignty and security of countries in the South China Sea."

He added "we hope relevant countries can recognize that peace, development, cooperation and win-win are the trends" that can "jointly safeguard stability and prosperity in the region and the world".


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