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China Daily Website

Freedom of navigation in S China Sea unaffected

Updated: 2013-08-29 19:33
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - The Chinese Defense Ministry on Thursday warned relevant countries against seeking private interests under the guise of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The ministry added that freedom of navigation has never been affected by territorial and ocean rights disputes between the countries concerned.

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun made the remarks at a monthly press briefing in response to a question about a vow by the United States and the Philippines to protect freedom of navigation in Southeast Asia.

"The so-called protection of freedom of navigation is in fact a false proposition," Yang told reporters. "We call on the countries concerned not to seek private interests under the guise of freedom of navigation."

The Philippines is currently negotiating a framework agreement with the United States that will allow greater US access to civilian and military facilities in the country to deploy aircraft, ships, troops and equipment and increase rotation of US troops there.

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