Beijing Dismisses Washington Views on S. China Sea

Beijing Dismisses Washington Views on S. China SeaBeijing Dismisses Washington Views on S. China Sea

China on Saturday dismissed US views on the disputed South China Sea as incomplete and said it lacks legal evidence to support its claims.

The dismissal came after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in his keynote speech to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue that his country would continue to fly, sail, and operate in the region wherever international law allows, Xinhua reported.

Carter also called for “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants” in the South China Sea.

In response, Rear Admiral Guan Youfei, director of Foreign Affairs Office of China’s National Defense Ministry, said “Freedom of navigation should be for the benefits of economic development, rather than sending military aircraft and vessels everywhere.”

China has been exercising restraint on the South China Sea issue and the US “should treat the South China Sea issue with a more objective way,” Guan added.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin also said in a signed article on Saturday that China is a “staunch proponent of peace and stability in the South China Sea.”

The annual Shangri-La Dialogue brings together defense chiefs from 26 nations here as well as security experts to exchange views on key issues that shape the defense and security landscape of the region.

Beijing has accused Washington of singling out China over an activity that other countries in the region are also engaged in. China insists it has sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, a major global shipping route believed to be home to oil and gas reserves.