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Freedom of S China Sea navigation 'fully guaranteed'

(People's Daily Online)

08:05, June 05, 2012

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin at a regular press conference on June 4 (File photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)

Beijing, June 5 (People's Daily Online)-- Freedom of navigation has never been affected by territorial disputes on the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said here on Monday.

"Anyone with objectivity can see that the navigational freedom that every country can enjoy in accordance with international law has been fully guaranteed," said Liu at a daily press conference.

China claims indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea and its adjacent waters, said Liu. "Disputes in the area should be resolved via negotiations and consultations between countries directly concerned," he said.

"Hopefully, nations outside the area can respect the efforts of countries within the area to settle the disputes through bilateral negotiations, and avoid further involvement by any means," he said.

As a major user of the South China Sea route, navigational freedom and safety concerns China, as well, said Liu.

China, along with other relevant parties, will strive to protect such freedom and safety, he said.

"However, deliberately hyping the issue of navigational freedom while messing it around with the sovereignty of some islands and reefs in the South China Sea as well as ocean demarcation has led some people to suspect the motives and intentions hidden behind such moves," he said.

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