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People's Daily Online

Accusing China of using COVID-19 to expand presence in South China Sea "nonsense": FM

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:09, May 25, 2020

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- It is sheer nonsense to claim that China is using COVID-19 to expand its presence in the South China Sea, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.

Wang refuted the accusation at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session.

"China has been focusing on anti-epidemic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries recently," Wang said, noting that both sides have supported and helped each other with their mutual trust further enhanced.

With ships and planes carrying anti-virus supplies sailing across and flying over the South China Sea, the region is witnessing mutual assistance and cooperation between China and the ASEAN countries in epidemic fight, he said.

A few countries outside the region, in contrast, are flexing their muscles by sending military aircraft and vessels to the South China Sea, Wang noted. "Their ill-intentioned and despicable moves are meant to sow discords between China and the ASEAN countries and undermine the hard-won stability in the region."

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