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China viewed as defender of peace amid groundless accusations over South China Sea

Updated: 2015-05-30 17:09

SINGAPORE -- China has always been a defender of world peace, while the South China Sea issue is, to certain extent, "sensationalized on purpose" by some countries in and outside the region, experts and officials said.

Huang Jing, director of the Center on Asia and Globalization at the National University of Singapore, said there have been many crises since the Cold War, such as Libya, Egypt, Kosovo as well as Ukraine. A lot of issues have also been seen across Asia, including the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula and the disputes in East China Sea and South China Sea.

"However, one important fact is, all the crises with Western involvement ended up in war without any exception," he told Xinhua on Friday on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue. "China is the defender of world peace, not a trouble-maker."

Stressing that the South China Sea dispute is the issue among claimant states, Huang believed the most effective way to solve it is through negotiations between concerned parties, and any attempt to introduce outside forces will only complicate it.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in his keynote speech to the ongoing Shangri-la Dialogue on Saturday that his country will continue to fly, sail and operate in the region wherever international law allows, and called for an "immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants."

Rear Admiral Guan Youfei, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of China's National Defense Ministry, dismissed Carter's views on the South China Sea as "incomplete and lack of jurisprudential evidence".

"Freedom of navigation should be for the benefits of economic development, rather than sending military aircraft and vessels everywhere," Guan pointed out.

He said that China has been exercising restraints over the South China Sea issue, hoping Washington should treat the issue with a more objective way.

The topic of South China Sea has been under spotlight at the Shangri-La Dialogue in recent years. However, Huang said the South China Sea dispute has not been hyped up until the United States announced its "pivot to Asia" strategy in 2010.

"The South China Sea issue has been there for decades. Why it was not a big issue previously, but has been one now?" he asked.

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