20:50 GMT +328 March 2017
    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

    Russia Warns Other States Against Interfering in South China Sea Dispute - Envoy

    © REUTERS/ U.S. Navy/Handout
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    Russia avoids interfering in the territorial dispute around the South China Sea and is warning other states against doing so as such intervention could result in a negative effect, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — A number of disputed islands, including the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands, are located in the South China Sea. Beijing’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, known as the Nansha Islands in China, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves, run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

    "Our position regarding the territorial disputes in the South China Sea has not changed and cannot change. It cannot change as it is a balanced, verified and logical position… We are not interfering in these disputes and we are warning others against such interference," Denisov told reporters.

    According to the ambassador, any external interference will have a negative effect, as a third party is unable to maintain neutrality is a specific regional dispute and will only complicate the issue.

    "We appreciate this high level of partnership with all participants of these discussions — China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asia states. And we intend to continue this line," Denisov said, adding that Russia is ready to help create a favorable atmosphere for solving such issues.

    Andrey Denisov, China, Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Russia, South China Sea
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      Before 1968 there were no disputes by the Philippines or Malaysia or Brunei or Vietnam as they recognized China's sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands. But when oil was discovered in the South China Sea in 1969, all that changed and Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam began to claim islands in the Spratlys and the Philippines followed suit in 1978.

      But if there are no interference from the US, the parties to the disputes can solve them via peaceful negotiations. So the message to the Mad Dog Mathis: Study the history of the South China Sea and don't interfere.
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