04:28 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Spratly group of islands

    China Has No Intention of Militarizing South China Sea - Xi Jinping

    © AFP 2019 / ROLEX DELA PENA / POOL
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    China does not intend to militarize the Nansha/Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and will remain committed to keeping peace and stability in the region, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

    At the news conference, the Chinese president repeated China’s longstanding position that it has had sovereignty over the South China Sea islands “since ancient times.”

    “Relevant construction activities that China is undertaking in the Nansha [Spratly] Islands do not target or impact any country and China does not intend to pursue militarization,” China’s president said.

    Earlier, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice urged China and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to create a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

    The United States expressed concern that China was reclaiming land and building new facilities in the disputed territories in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

    Countries located in and around the South China Sea, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, also stated competing claims to the disputed Spratly Islands.

    China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratly Islands and its right to establish military facilities there. Beijing has repeatedly stated the artificial islands will be used primarily for humanitarian purposes.

    Earlier the Japanese admiral said that “The South China Sea, as the name indicates, is a sea area that belongs to China. And the sea from the Han dynasty a long time ago where the Chinese people have been working and producing from the sea,” Admiral Yubai said through an interpreter.

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    Tags:
    militarization, disputed islands, land reclamation, sovereignty, Xi Jinping, Susan Rice, South China Sea, China, United States
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