Senior PLA officer reiterates peaceful resolution to South China Sea issue

09:25, October 23, 2010      

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A senior Chinese military official reiterated on Friday that a peaceful resolution through consultation and negotiation was needed to handle disputes over the South China Sea.

Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), made the remarks in his keynote speech at the opening of the Xiangshan military forum in Beijing, which discussed Asia-Pacific security issues.

Ma reiterated that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the surrounding waters, and is committed to enhancing dialogue and cooperation with the parties concerned to maintain peace and stability in the region.

He stressed that China had always guaranteed freedom of navigation in and flying over the South China Sea in accordance with international law.

"It is the common interests of China and other countries to maintain freedom and security of navigation in the region," he said.

""We also believe that the overall situation in the South China Sea is stable," Ma said. "It will do no good to the region's security and stability to repeatedly bring forward the issue or exaggerate the issue, like what some countries did."

Hosted under the theme of "Evolution of International Strategic Configuration and Asia-Pacific Security," the three-day Xiangshan forum has attracted more than 100 military scholars to discuss the new challenges and counter-measures needed to ensure the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

The event was organized by the China Association for Military Science.

Source: Xinhua


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