China denies island building militarizes South China Sea

World Today

Chinese Foreign Ministry denies its island building in the South China Sea would militarize the area, after U.S. and Australian defense and foreign ministers expressed concern during their annual meeting.

“China’s construction on the Nansha Islands serves mostly civilian purposes, helping deliver our international responsibilities and obligations and providing more public good,” the ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a news briefing on Wednesday.

China has built two lighthouses on the Nansha Islands, which began operation on Oct. 10 which are the first civil facilities built to aid in navigation in the South China Sea.

The two lighthouses are designed to provide route guidance, safety information, maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security, to improve navigational conditions and reduce risks.

China’s military deployment is “necessary, limited, and defense-oriented,” Hua said.

Meanwhile, Hua said that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands. She called for other countries to respect the efforts China and relevant states in the region have made in safeguarding peace and security of the area.

“Some countries flex their military muscles and hold frequent large-scale drills with their allies in the South China Sea, which is the most important factor militarizing the waters. China expresses serious concern over this,” she added.

Story by CCTV News