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Beijing's Island Construction in South China Sea Poses No Threat - Minister

Sputnik News

18:16 08.03.2015(updated 18:29 08.03.2015)

China's construction works in an island in the South China Sea does not target or affect any country, the Chinese top diplomat said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – China's recently intensified construction works on the reefs it controls in the South China Sea's disputed Spratly Island, are lawful and pose no threat to any other countries, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.

"This construction does not target or affect anyone… we are merely building facilities in our own yard. We have every right to do things that are lawful and justified," Wang Yi said at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC) annual meeting in Beijing, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

Wang added that China did not "accept criticism from others" over the matter.

Satellite images released in mid-February show that since last March, China has built an artificial island covering some 75,000 square yards on the South China Sea reefs.

China's territorial claims in Spratly Islands contradict those of Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Vietnam. The Spratly Islands hold potentially significant oil and gas reserves.

Earlier this week, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry voiced protest over China's construction works on the islands, saying it violated Vietnam's sovereignty.


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