14:57 GMT20 February 2020
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    US President Barack Obama called on the countries of the region on Saturday to stop building artificial islands and halt militarization in the disputed South China Sea.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines is seeking arbitration in The Hague against China over the resources-rich waters, where China has been constructing artificial islands and claiming sovereignty over the land and a zone of 12 nautical miles surrounding it.

    "For the sake of regional stability, the claimants should halt reclamation, construction and militarization of disputed areas," Obama told a meeting between Washington and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.

    The United States has repeatedly warned it does not recognize Chinese claims of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Obama has repeatedly called on China to halt its constriction activities in the region.


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