Published: March. 1, 2012 at 1:29 AM
BEIJING, March 1 (UPI) — China’s stand on the South China Sea issue is consistent and it has not claimed sovereignty over the entire sea, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
“No country, including China, has claimed sovereignty over the whole South China Sea. We don’t know whether those who always make irresponsible remarks on this issue are doing it out of ignorance or have ulterior motives. We need to clarify it,” spokesman Hong Lei said, China Daily reported Thursday.
The China Daily reported Hong, responding to latest statements by the United States, said: “In fact, freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea has never been a problem, and has never been affected by the South China Sea disputes. We hope relevant parties, including non-claimant states, do more things that are beneficial to regional peace and stability.”
In comments before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday on America’s strategy shift toward the Asia-Pacific, Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said the strategy will help address security challenges in the region and is also designed to solidify longstanding partnerships and build on newer ones.
Willard also said one of the needs of the U.S. military in the Pacific region is maritime security and access as about $5.3 trillion in commerce flows through the South China Sea, much of belonging to the United States.
The China Daily said China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have claims over some islands and waters in the South China Sea, and the United States has increased its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, claiming it has a national interest in the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea.
Hong said the crux of the disputes is claims over the territory of some islands and demarcation of some waters in the sea. He said China insists on solving disputes with relevant parties through “friendly negotiations based on historical facts and international law.”