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China Vows to Ensure Freedom of Navigation in South China Sea

By | Mar 04, 2017 09:56 AM EST
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Wang underscored that China values the importance of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Wang underscored that China values the importance of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.(Photo : Photo by Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Angela Henderson)

There is no need to gloss over the issue of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as there is "much ado about nothing."

This was the comment made by Wang Guoqing, spokesman for the Fifth Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference when queried about measures being carried out by China to guarantee navigational rights across the disputed waters.

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"There is an old Chinese saying that 'There's no trouble in the world, except for what the unenlightened agitate,'" Wang said, reported China Daily. 

According to the Chinese official, those asserting that China is a threat to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea are merely peddling a "fake proposition."

"As a major trading nation and the biggest country along the South China Sea, China attaches more importance than any other country to navigational freedom and security in the South China Sea," Wang stressed.

He pointed out that there have never been actual problems arising from this issue since China reclaimed ownership of the contested islands in the South China Sea after the end of World War II.

Wang explained that it is perfectly normal for China to build facilities in these islands, as they are primarily designed for "defensive purposes" and are a vital component of the country's territory.

In fact, he noted that the civilian structures that China has built in the South China Sea are meant to ensure both freedom of navigation and safety.   

To recall, the USS Carl Vinson Nimitz-class carrier strike group began patrolling the South China Sea last month following earlier reports that the US Navy was planning to dispatch warships in the area to promote freedom of navigation in the region.

In the meantime, Wang underscored that China values the importance of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the International Business Times reported. 

Although the PPC spokesman made no mention of the United States, he pointed out that China is doing its part to defend navigational rights in the contested waters based on international law.

Noting that China is the largest litoral country in the world, he emphasized that the nation is a dominant force in so far as trade in the region is concerned, and thereby puts great importance on the freedom of navigation.

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