Beijing warns countries to stop hyping South China Sea issue

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Ientiane | Published: May 26, 2016 6:45:35 PM

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan has in a stern note asserted that certain countries should stop playing up the issue of freedom of navigation...

Chinese Defence minister said that to further boost defense and security cooperation between China and ASEAN, the Chinese Army hopes to hold a joint drill with the ASEAN countries’ army in the South China Sea. Chinese Defence minister said that to further boost defense and security cooperation between China and ASEAN, the Chinese Army hopes to hold a joint drill with the ASEAN countries’ army in the South China Sea.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan has in a stern note asserted that certain countries should stop playing up the issue of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as it has never been a problem.

Speaking at the sixth China-ASEAN Defence Ministers Informal Meeting in the Laos capital yesterday, Chang stressed that Beijing would stick to the road of peaceful development and never ease its efforts to push for regional cooperation, resolve disputes peacefully and coordinately, and never shirk its responsibility to protect regional peace and stability. He added that to further boost defense and security cooperation between China and ASEAN, the Chinese Army hopes to hold a joint drill with the ASEAN countries’ army in the South China Sea.

Asserting that China is willing to further boost the anti-terrorism cooperation between the two sides, Chang said the country will push forward the exchange and cooperation between its Southern Theater Command and the armies of ASEAN countries.

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Chinese Central Military Commission, said the issue of so called freedom of navigation in the South China Sea was a false proposition. Guan pointed out that 1,00,000 vessels pass through the South China Sea each year and none claimed to have encountered any hindrance, trouble or danger, which proves that freedom of navigation is never threatened in the South China Sea and is, therefore, not a problem.

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