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China's construction on the Nansha Islands is legitimate

(People's Daily Online)    10:33, June 08, 2015
Photo shows a patrol vessel arrives in Yongxing Island of Sansha City on the South China Sea, south China, April 22, 2015. (Xinhua Photo by Guo Qiuda)

Recent remarks by some senior U.S. officials on China's island construction in the South China Sea are not only unjustified but also harmful to regional peace and stability.

China's work on the Nansha Islands and reefs is within China's sovereignty and no other country has any right to interfere.

Since China built a marine weather station on the Yongshu Jiao based on UNESCO regulations, China has provided reliable maritime security services for both domestic and international vessels sailing through the South China Sea, and made an important contribution to international disaster relief and oceanic weather research.

China's activities on the Nansha islands will not affect freedom of navigation and flyover in the region. China is one of the world's major trading countries and about 80 to 90 percent of its goods are imported or exported by this sea.

The construction or improvement of facilities is conductive to maritime rescue and search, natural disaster relief, scientific research, meteorological services, environmental protection, navigation safety, and services for the fishing industry, which benefit not only China but also the international community.

However, the recent reconnaissance conducted by U.S. military aircraft approaching the Nansha Islands poses a potential threat to the security of China's maritime features. It is a dangerous and irresponsible move that may lead to miscalculation and untoward incidents and is harmful to regional peace and stability.

Despite the United States claims that it will not choose sides on sovereignty disputes, the mask of hypocrisy always peels away to reveal a face of "double standards". The US makes irresponsible observations about China's construction work within China's area of sovereignty, while turning a blind eye to the massive construction projects undertaken earlier by the Philippines and Vietnam on their illegally occupied Chinese islands and reefs.

Their illegal occupation is a serious violation of China's territorial sovereignty, and a violation of the United Nations Charter and the basic norms of international relations.

China is firmly opposed to these US actions, but considering peace and stability in the South China Sea, it has taken a very restrained attitude and has always been committed to solving issues with the parties directly involved through negotiation and consultation. Meanwhile, the US has chosen to keep silent on other countries' activities and pointed an accusing finger at China.

China adheres to the road of peaceful development and remains committed to building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with its neighbors. China will always be a staunch force in safeguarding regional peace and stability, will not tolerate tumult in the South China Sea, and will not make trouble in the region.

Through the joint efforts of China and majority of the ASEAN countries, the overall situation in the region is stable. Meanwhile the US, which is not a party to the South China Sea issues, continues to stir up trouble in the region and is the source of the chaos.

The author is Jia Yu and Zhang Xiaoyi, vice director and assistant research fellow with China Institute for Marine Affairs respectively.

This article was edited and translated from 《中国在南沙群岛的岛礁建设有理有据(国际论坛)》, source: People's Daily 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Liang Jun,Yao Chun)

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