March 22, 2018

China still building islands in disputed South China Sea: security think tank

13 August 2017, 11:06 | Opal Carroll

US Navy destroyer sails within reach of disputed Chinese territory: Reuters

Chinese military lodges stern representations to Japan over latter's Defence White Paper

"Chinese Navy stated that it identified the USA warship, warned and expelled it as some parties from outside continue to meddle in the region under the guise of "free navigation", Geng said".

The South China Sea issues are important in themselves but one should always be aware of the context in which they are embedded - the contest between China and the United States for dominance in the region.

The Trump administration is dependent on Beijing to rein in the belligerent North Korea and have been pressing China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime to prevent tensions from escalating further in the Korean peninsula.

China's defense ministry said two Chinese warships "jumped into action" and warned the US ship to leave, labeling the move a "provocation" that seriously harms mutual trust.

US President Donald Trump in a tweet had lashed out against China last month over its inability to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions, saying,"I am very disappointed in China".

It continued that the U.S. sailing had violated both worldwide and Chinese law and, at the same time, had posed a threat to Beijing's security and sovereignty.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated on Thursday.

The construction of necessary and appropriate facilities by the Chinese side in some reefs and islands of the Nansha Islands is a legitimate right granted to sovereign states by global law, which has nothing to do with militarisation and does not pose a threat to regional security, said Geng.

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China today expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the USA over the sail-by.

Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the situation in the South China Sea has "stabilised" because of "joint efforts" of China and neighbouring countries, but the U.S. operation threatened "peace and stability in the region". "So why don't some of you here ask them, could you give us the pictures or can you tell us what's happening in the whole West Philippine Sea, in the whole South China Sea, because if they show that, everyone will be protesting against each other".

Party bosses in Beijing lay claim to huge swathes of the disputed South China Sea.

It claims as its border in the South China Sea the so called Nine-Dash Line (also referred to as the Ten-Dash Line or the Eleven-Dash Line), a demarcation line, with the claimed territories including the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, the Scarborough Shoal, the Pratas Islands, and the Macclesfield Bank, among others.

He also voiced resentment at a call by Australia, Japan and the United States to enforce the arbitral ruling and for a legally binding code of conduct in the vital sea lanes, saying: "The problem of territorial dispute is between Philippines and China".

China has been ambiguous about its precise territorial claims around such artificial islands.

Wang's claim "is false" and China's reclamation work "did not end in mid-2015 with the completion of its artificial islands in the Spratlys", said the report.

In the wake of the ruling, United States businesses in China like KFC and Apple found themselves targeted by angry protestors.

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