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People's Daily Online

China urges Australia not to meddle in the South China Sea issue

People's Daily Online

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online) 16:24, February 17, 2016

Australia should adopt an objective and unbiased attitude and refrain from doing anything that undermines regional peace and stability, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

Deploying necessary national defense facilities on its own territory is China's exercise of self-preservation and defense, a right granted by international law to sovereign states, said Hong Lei at a regular press conference.

Hong said that the Philippines' unilateral initiation of international arbitration does not comply with international law and runs counter to the consensus reached between China and the Philippines as well as relevant provisions of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the action will never be accepted by China.

'The Australian side should not selectively evade that objective fact,' said Hong.

For the South China Sea issue, China has expounded on its principled position on many occasions.

According to earlier report, before leaving for visits to Japan and China, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters that Australia expects continued freedom of navigation of planes and ships, civilian and military, in the South China Sea, and will seek explanation from China on the latest development of its island building activities. She hoped that China would halt construction activities. Furthermore, Australia supports the right of the Philippines to take its maritime dispute with China to international arbitration.

In the meantime, the U.S. continues to stir up the South China Sea issue. Military expert Li Jie told the Global Times that it is reasonable for China to establish defense facilities in the area for the safety of fishing boats, hydrological and meteorological observatories and civilian flights.

At the conference Hong said China welcomes Foreign Minister Bishop's visit to China. It is very important to maintain regular exchanges between China and Australia.



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