21:10 GMT +318 September 2018
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    In this undated photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese H-6K bomber patrols the islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

    Beijing Blames External Forces for Sowing Discord in South China Sea

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    Asia & Pacific
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - External forces are flexing military muscle in the South China Sea in a bid to destabilize the region after tensions began to ease, China's foreign minister Wang Yi said Thursday.

    "The main problem is that certain external forces are unhappy that the situation in the region has improved. They are making provocations, trying to sow chaos and send a heavily-armed craft to the South China Sea in a show of force," he said.

    Wang Yi, who was speaking at an annual press conference, referred to militarization as the biggest challenge for stability in the region.

    READ MORE: Chinese Firm, Manila Discuss ‘Co-Ownership' Agreement Over South China Sea Oil

    Yi continued by saying that China had always pursued the principle of non-interference in the affairs of foreign states and opposed the use of force in solving international problems.

    "[China is committed to] political settlement of existing problems, dialogue, as well as to holding of negotiations in order to address any tensions and conflicts, Beijing firmly opposes the use of force," the minister said.

    Wang indicated that China had its own specifics when it comes to addressing pressing international issues, adding that the country's policy was based on three main aspects: peaceful character, legitimacy and constructiveness.

    Among other pillars of the Chinese foreign policy doctrine, the minister mentioned non-interference in internal affairs of other states and protection of their sovereignty.

    The South China Sea, a strategically and economically key maritime region, is disputed between numerous countries in the region. Beijing has been pushing its claim on the area by constructing artificial islands around the disputed Spratly Island chain.

    The US has been further escalating the situation by conducting patrolling and performing drills with its allies in the region. Washington claims that its actions are to ensure freedom of navigation, while Beijing calls the move a violation of its territorial sovereignty.

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