China to respond to provocations with prompt, legitimate countermeasures in South China Sea: FM

(Xinhua) 11:24, March 07, 2024

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China will take justified actions to defend its rights in accordance with the law, and respond to unwarranted provocations with prompt and legitimate countermeasures in the South China Sea, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday.

The Chinese people have lived and worked in the South China Sea for generations, and the Nanhai Zhudao (islands in the South China Sea) have long been under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government in accordance with law. Today, the South China Sea is the busiest, safest and freest shipping route in the world, Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress, China's national legislature.

The most important experience China and ASEAN countries have drawn in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is adhering to the following two principles.

"First, differences should be properly managed and resolved through dialogue, consultation, or negotiation between states directly involved. Second, peace at the sea should be upheld by China and ASEAN countries working together," said Wang, adding that the principles are also the central tenet of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in 2002.

China and ASEAN countries should continue to implement the DOC, and accelerate the negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), he stressed.

"We will work with ASEAN countries to strive for an early conclusion of the COC and to ensure that the South China Sea remains a sea of peace and cooperation," he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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