China denies damaging reefs in disputed sea
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - December 16, 2015 - 11:58pm

MANILA, Philippines - Beijing on Wednesday denied reports that its construction activities on islands and reefs in the South China Sea damage marine ecological environment.

This follows the report from BBC News that Chinese fishermen are destroying coral reefs in the South China Sea.

"The relevant report is severely biased and misleading. The Nansha Islands are China’s territory. China cares about ecological protection of relevant islands, reefs and waters more than anyone," Chinese Foreign Minsitry Spokesperson Hong Lei said in a press conference.

Hong stressed that China underwent scientific evaluation and argumentation before starting construction in the islands and reefs.

"Placing equal emphasis on construction and protection, China has taken into full account issues like ecological environment and fishery protection, strictly followed environmental standards and requirements during construction, and adopted many effective measures to protect ecological environment," Hong said.

On the other hand, BBC News correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reported how hundreds of white coral branches in the in the Spratly or Nansha Islands have been damaged because of Chinese fishing activities.

Wingfield-Hayes narrated how he went underwater and saw that the sea floor was covered in a thick layer of broken fragments of coral.

"I swam on and on. In every direction the destruction stretched for hundreds of meters, piles and piles of shattered white coral branches. It seemed so illogical. Why would fishermen, even poachers, destroy a whole coral system like this?" Wingfield Hayes said in his report.

The BBC News correspondent described the situation of the sea "complete devastation."

During the hearing on the merits case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, the Philippines hit China for interfering with fishing activities in the disputed South China Sea.

The Philippine delegation argued that China's construction activities in the region destroy the sea bed.

RELATED: Day 2 at The Hague: China hit for interfering with fishing in disputed sea

BEIJING CHINA CHINESE FOREIGN MINSITRY SPOKESPERSON HONG LEI CORAL NANSHA ISLANDS PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION QUOT RUPERT WINGFIELD-HAYES SEA SOUTH CHINA SEA WINGFIELD HAYES
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with