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Ambassador demands stop meddling in South China Sea

Updated: 2016-05-05 07:47

London - Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to Britain, has demanded stopping meddling in the South China Sea dispute by some politicians and media outlets in the United States and Britain, in a signed article to the Times published Wednesday.

Ambassador demands stop meddling in South China Sea

Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming. [File photo]

"The issue of the South China Sea is being ramped up by those in the US and the UK who accuse China of causing tension in the region. They proclaim the principle of free navigation and over-flight but in reality their prejudice and partiality will only increase tension," he said.

Their suggestion that China's "hard line" position about the sea increases friction is not based on fact, Liu said, pointing out that China was the first country to discover and name the Nansha islands and reefs and the first to govern them.

Although more than 40 of them are now illegally occupied by other countries, "our talks with neighbors to resolve our differences show how committed we are to regional peace and stability," Liu said.

China's construction on its own islands and reefs is a matter for itself. These actions are not targeted at any other country. Apart from minimum defense facilities, the building works are primarily civilian in purpose, Liu said.

The claim that there is a threat to the freedom of navigation and overflight in the sea is false, he said, adding that more than 100,000 vessels pass through the sea unimpeded every year.

"Is the freedom of navigation that every country is entitled to really the issue? Or is it the 'freedom' of certain countries to flex military muscle and moor warships on other nations' doorsteps and fly military jets over other countries' territorial airspace?" he asked.

"If it is the latter, such 'freedom' should be condemned as a flagrantly hostile act and stopped," he said.

To accusations that China is "not abiding by international law" and "undermining the rule-based international system," Liu said that China made a clear declaration in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2006 to exclude compulsory arbitration on sovereign disputes and maritime delimitation.

"More than 30 other countries, including the UK, have made similar declarations," he pointed out.

"The world will see clearly who is making trouble in the South China Sea. These nations should desist from meddling and muddling. Such actions pose a threat to regional stability and world peace," the ambassador said.


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