The Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry made a comment after ASEAN countries and partners voiced concerns at the East Asian Summit held at Malaysia, November 22, about China’s aggressive actions and militarization of its occupied maritime features in West Philippine Sea. East Asia Summit comprises of 10 ASEAN countries plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and US.
“The Chinese side does not pursue to militarize the South China Sea. It makes no sense to relate construction on islands and reefs of the Nansha (Spratly) Islands to militarization,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said November 23. “China firmly upholds the defense policy that is defensive in nature and opposes actions of militarization taken by any country in the South China Sea that are detrimental to security, stability and mutual trust.”
At the said summit, President Aquino said “it is regrettable that China continues to massively reclaim and build structures in the sea known by many names, in total disregard of international law as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Many countries have expressed serious concerns that these actions threaten freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce in one of the world’s most strategic waterways.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “the massive and rapid reclamation, as well as the establishment of strongholds and moves for military purposes still continue in the South China Sea. I am seriously concerned about this kind of situation.”
“A key topic was the South China Sea, and many leaders spoke about the need to uphold international principles, including the freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” US President Barack Obama said in a press conference after the summit.