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English>>Foreign Affairs

China hits back at US criticism of militarizing South China Sea

(CNTV)    10:00, February 26, 2016

The Chinese military is calling on the US to stop sensationalizing China’s military moves in the South China Sea. Spokesman Wu Qian has told the media that China has the legitimate right to deploy military facilities on its own islands in the South China Sea. US officials have criticized China’s building of of facilities and deployment of missiles and fighters.

Yongxing Island is increasingly under the spotlight of western media, as China exercises its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

"There’s no difference between China’s deployment of defense facilities on its own territory and the defense installation by the US in Hawaii," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

The US is accusing China of militarizing the region by deploying missile systems and fighter jets on Yongxing.

The combative tone in the debate between the two sides is itself making waves in the South China Sea.

"We want to halt the expansion and militarization of artifact features, we think everybody benefits by true de-militarization," US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"We don’t hope to see militarized close-in reconnaissance by the US military. Nor do we want to see more missile destroyers or strategic fighters coming to this region. This is what all sides need to take for a responsible behavior on demilitarization," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

China regards itself as the victim of the disputes. It believes the US call for freedom of navigation is in fact a ploy for dominance in the region.

"The US has increasingly dispatched military vessels and aircraft to the adjacent waters and airspace of China’s islands in the South China Sea. It has engaged in highly targeted military exercises and joint patrols. The US is turning a blind eye to its own militarization and has made irresponsible accusations about China. This is a typical double standard," Chinese Ministry of Naional Defense spokesman Wu Qian said.

Beijing has been angered by US air and sea patrols near islands China claims. It's calling on the US to respect both their military and wider bilateral relations.

"Recent actions by the US have severely damaged mutual trust between the two sides, and violates the consensus reached by two sides. We urge the US to take concrete measures to remove obstacles for healthy development," Wu said.

The open debates by China and the United States on the South China Sea issue have a global audience. Both sides have acknowledged that it's unlikely that their differences will be resolved in the foreseeable future. The biggest question is how to avoid real confrontations that are in the interest of neither.

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

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