China denies militarization in South China Sea
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 23, 2015 - 11:18pm

MANILA, Philippines - Beijing on Monday clarified that it is not pursuing to militarize the disputed South China Sea despite its massive land reclamation activities in the region.

"It makes no sense to relate construction on islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands to militarization," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said in a press briefing.

IN PHOTOS: Pre- and post-reclamation in Spratlys | Philippine military's aerial shots of China's man-made islands

Hong added that all countries concerned should work for peace and stability of the South China Sea.

"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," Hong said.

The Chinese official stressed that joint efforts between countries in and outside the region are required to prevent the militarization of the disputed sea.

China maintained that disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved by concerned states through negotiations and consultations.

READ: Chinese exec: China solved 12 of 14 disputes via negotiation

"In keeping with the (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China sea) spirit, disputes over territory and jurisdiction rights should be peacefully resolved through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned," Hong said.

He pointed out that peace and stability in the region should be maintained by China and Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries.

"Together with all parties, the Chinese side will make unremitting efforts for peace and stability of the South China Sea and promote common development and prosperity of countries in the region," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The Philippines filed an arbitration case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which is under the United Nations.

The first round of oral arguments on merits of the Philippines's case against China starts on November 24 and will end on November 30.

RELATED: Philippines ready for hearing on merits vs China

CHINA CHINA AND ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATION CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY CONDUCT OF PARTIES HONG LEI NANSHA ISLANDS PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION QUOT SEA SOUTH CHINA SOUTH CHINA SEA
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