Photo taken on April 5, 2016 shows the lighthouse on Zhubi Reef of Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, south China. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
London, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to Britain, has demanded stopping meddling in the South China Sea dispute by some politicians and media outlets in the United States and Britain, in a signed article to the Times published Wednesday.
"The issue of the South China Sea is being ramped up by those in the US and the UK who accuse China of causing tension in the region. They proclaim the principle of free navigation and over-flight but in reality their prejudice and partiality will only increase tension," he said.
Their suggestion that China's "hard line" position about the sea increases friction is not based on fact, Liu said, pointing out that China was the first country to discover and name the Nansha islands and reefs and the first to govern them.
Although more than 40 of them are now illegally occupied by other countries, "our talks with neighbors to resolve our differences show how committed we are to regional peace and stability," Liu said.
China's construction on its own islands and reefs is a matter for itself. These actions are not targeted at any other country. Apart from minimum defense facilities, the building works are primarily civilian in purpose, Liu said.
The claim that there is a threat to the freedom of navigation and overflight in the sea is false, he said, adding that more than 100,000 vessels pass through the sea unimpeded every year.
"Is the freedom of navigation that every country is entitled to really the issue? Or is it the 'freedom' of certain countries to flex military muscle and moor warships on other nations' doorsteps and fly military jets over other countries' territorial airspace?" he asked.
"If it is the latter, such 'freedom' should be condemned as a flagrantly hostile act and stopped," he said.
To accusations that China is "not abiding by international law" and "undermining the rule-based international system," Liu said that China made a clear declaration in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2006 to exclude compulsory arbitration on sovereign disputes and maritime delimitation.
"More than 30 other countries, including the UK, have made similar declarations," he pointed out.
"The world will see clearly who is making trouble in the South China Sea. These nations should desist from meddling and muddling. Such actions pose a threat to regional stability and world peace," the ambassador said.
BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese spokesperson on Friday rebuked U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken's remarks on the impending "arbitration" of the South China Sea issue, saying the United States is in no position to criticize China.
On Thursday, Blinken told a House of Representatives hearing in Washington that China "can't have it both ways," by being a party to the convention but rejecting its provisions, including "the binding nature of any arbitration decision." Full story
BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The "Geng Lu Book," a historic book written between China's Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911), begins with a few sentences outlining an accurate maritime navigation route of ancient Chinese fishermen sailing from the Tan Men port of China's Hainan Province to the South China Sea.
The origin of the "Geng Lu Book" could date back to the early Ming Dynasty. The book records names of more than 100 locations in and important maritime information about the South China Sea, including sailing directions, time, distance, islands and submerged reefs, as well as sea current speeds and weather changes. Full story
BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines, distorting and partially applying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), attempts to challenge China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands.
In its unilaterally-initiated arbitration, the Philippines argues that low-tide elevations and submerged reefs are part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, a claim that totally runs contrary to historical fact, reality and international law. Full story