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China calls on US to be more 'candid, honest' in sea row

Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 5, 2015 - 9:06pm

MANILA, Philippines - Beijing on Thursday called on the United States (US) to be more "candid and honest" about its intentions in the disputed South China Sea.

This follows the visit of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in the disputed sea as part of its freedom of navigation operation.

READ: Pentagon chief visits Navy ship in South China Sea

"What we are against is the attempt to militarize the South China Sea and even challenge and threaten other countries’ sovereignty and security interests under the name of navigation freedom," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing.

Hua said China will not oppose such activities as long as it is the genuine practice of navigation freedom through real international shipping lanes.

"The Chinese side respects and safeguards all countries’ freedom of navigation and overflight guaranteed by international law," Hua said.

Carter visited aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to amplify the US view that China is making excessive claims over the South China Sea.

The US Defense chief signaled that the country will keep a strong naval presence in the region in support of nations seeking to preserve stability in the area.

Last week, a US Navy ship sailed near Subi Reef in the Spratlys or Nansha islands in the South China Sea.

China warned the US after the said incident, citing that the actions of the warship threatened their sovereignty and security interests. - with reports from Associated Press

RELATED: Analysts: US Navy patrol meant to challenge China's claims

ASSOCIATED PRESS CHINA CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON HUA CHUNYING DEFENSE SECRETARY ASHTON CARTER HUA NAVY QUOT SEA SOUTH SOUTH CHINA SEA STRONG
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