Aerial photo taken on July 13, 2020 shows an expedition vessel in the South China Sea. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)
BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese military spokesperson on Thursday urged certain members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to stop stirring up troubles in the South China Sea.
Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks when asked for comment on the recent dispatch of, or announcement of dispatching, warships to the South China Sea by certain NATO countries for the so-called "freedom of navigation" mission.
China is paying close attention to relevant developments, Ren said.
Thanks to concerted efforts of countries in the region, the current situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, he said, noting that the so-called problem of "freedom of navigation" does not exist.
The region and the international community see that the security risks in the South China Sea are mainly from outside, Ren said. He called on relevant countries to make constructive contributions to regional peace and stability instead of making troubles out of nothing.
"Neither today's world nor China are what they were 100 years ago," Ren said. "China always respects the freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea enjoyed by all countries per international law, but firmly oppose any act jeopardizing sovereignty and security of littoral states."
Ren urged relevant countries to safeguard common interests and uphold peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world.