16:31 GMT +320 July 2019
Listen Live
    Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, photographed by a USN surveillance aircraft in 2015

    China Not to Build Monitoring Facility on Disputed S China Sea Shoal

    © REUTERS / U.S. Navy/Handout
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    1143

    Beijing is not planning to build a monitoring facility on the disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying denied on Wednesday reports of preparations by Beijing to build a monitoring facility on the disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

    "[A plan to build the facility] does not exist at all," The Republic newspaper cited Hua as saying at a daily press briefing.

    She added that the reports concerning building the environmental monitoring stations on Scarborough Shoal were mistaken.

    According to the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, China placed great importance on the preservation of the South China Sea's ocean ecology, as well as on China-Philippines relations.

    Last week, a Chinese top official was quoted by the official Hainan Daily newspaper as saying that China planned to build up the disputed Scarborough Shoal located approximately 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of China. Reacting to the reports, the Philippines requested explanations from China and started preparations to formally protest China’s plans due to the violation of a ruling by a United Nations-backed international tribunal of July 2016 declaring the shoal a common fishing ground outside any country’s jurisdiction.

    China has been in control of the shoal since 2012 after the standoff with Philippine vessels. Additionally, China denied the access of Philippine fishermen to the traditional fishing area, postponing access until a visit by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to China happened, which took place last year.

    China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have long contested ownership of the areas in the South China Sea, which is recognized as one of the world's busiest sea lanes and is believed to hold vast oil and gas reserves.

    Related:

    Malaysia Looks to Revamp Its Navy Amid South China Sea, Daesh Crises
    US Senators Propose Bill Penalizing Aggression by China in South China Sea
    China to Retaliate If Japan Sends Izumo Warship to South China Sea
    China Building Potential Military Asset on Paracel Islands in South China Sea
    Tags:
    disputed islands, building, Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, China
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik