China won’t backdown of deployments in South China Sea

Chinese Foreign Ministry says there will not be backdown of military deployments in South China Sea just before Foreign Minister Yi's visit to Washington

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A ship (top) of the Chinese Coast Guard is seen near a ship of the Vietnam Marine Guard in the South China Sea, off the shore of Vietnam in this May 14, 2014

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that there will not be a backdown of military deployments in South China Sea.

The ministry said that the deployments of the United States in Hawaii is the same thing as Chinese deployments in South China Sea, the statement came just before Foreign Minister Wang Yi scheduled to visit to the US on Thursday.

The ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "China's deploying necessary, limited defensive facilities on its own territory is not substantively different from the United States defending Hawaii."

The US accused China last week of raising tensions in the area by apparent deployment of missiles on a disputed island, China has neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.

Hua said that Washington should not use the issue of military facilities on the islands as a “pretext to make a fuss” during foreign minister’s visit.

"The US is not involved in the South China Sea dispute, and this is not and should not become a problem between China and the United States," Hua told a daily news briefing.

On the other side the US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing that the Washington will “press China to de-escalate and stop its militarisation” in South China Sea.

"There needs to be a diplomatic mechanism in place that allows these territorial claims to be settled in a peaceful way,” Toner said.

Coastal states worried of Chinese deployments

On Monday, a senior US naval officer was reported as saying Australia and other countries should follow the US lead and conduct "freedom-of-navigation" naval operations within 12 nautical miles (18 km) of contested islands in the South China Sea.

Besides China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan also have claims on the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year.

Countries who have coasts to the sea are worried about China’s construction and reclamation activities on the islands it occupies.

Beijing says the moves are mostly for civilian purposes.

The state-owned China Southern Power Grid Company will set up a power grid management station in what China calls Sansha City, located on Woody Island in the Paracels, which will be able to access microgrids in 16 other islands, according to China's top regulator of state-owned assets.

In the long term, the station will be able to remotely manage power for many islands there, the statement added, without specifying which islands it was referring to.

TRTWorld and agencies