Published By : 24 Nov 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
Chinese official are defending their country’s construction of civilian and military facilities on the islands of the South China Sea which is a matter of utter dispute when it comes to the ownership of these islands.
Earlier in the week, a spokesperson of the state news agency Xinhua quoted what the Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin stated in a press conference that happened in Malaysia on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit – the construction work carry on and any such activity should not be linked with militarization of the area.
As commented by the Vice Foreign Minister, it is necessary for China to build defense facilities on islands that are far away from the mainland, which is needed for te national defense as well as to safeguard the islands and reefs of the country.
These construction activities should not be mistaken as the militarization of the South China Sea. He further added that 42 islands and reefs that are China’s territories have been illegally occupied by its three neighbors.
China claims major part of the South China Sea, but the claim on the Sea are also contested by Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan. All these countries barring Brunei have positioned their troops on their claimed territories in the vast area, which are slated to be sitting atop vast oil and gas reserves.
China’s reclamation work that includes construction of airfields on some of the disputed territory has stirred global controversy and created tension in the region.
In October, the U.S. navy is reported to have conducted operations such as ‘freedom of navigation’ in the waters, which included patrolling within 12 miles of the Subi Reef located in the Spratly Islands.
Other than the U.S., some other countries that lie outside the region are exercising freedom of navigation by sending warships and airplanes.