BEIJING There was “no these types of issue” as man-produced islands in the disputed South China Sea, China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday, and reiterated that any making perform was largely for civilian functions.
China, which statements most of the source-prosperous area, has carried out land reclamation and construction on various islands in the Spratly archipelago, areas of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The making has incorporated airports, harbors and other facilities, involving in some instances the dumping of massive amounts of sand to create up land on what had been reefs or structures that might only have been uncovered at small tide.
But ministry spokesman Wu Qian implied that was potentially a misunderstanding, though he said there was construction perform which China experienced each and every right to do as the Spratlys had been inherent Chinese territory.
“There is no these types of issue as man-produced islands,” Wu informed a regular regular monthly news briefing. “Most of the making is for civilian functions, like essential defensive facilities.”
The South China Sea is frequently stable at current, but some nations exterior the area are nervous about this and want to buzz factors up and generate tensions, Wu said, working with terminology that normally refers to the United States.
Pressed to reveal his comment that had been no man-produced islands, Wu declined to elaborate, stating China experienced presently furnished a entire clarification of its construction perform.
On Monday, a U.S. believe tank said China appeared to have mostly concluded important construction of military services infrastructure on artificial islands it has crafted in the South China Sea and can now deploy battle planes and other military services components there at any time.
China has frequently denied expenses it is militarizing the South China Sea, via which about $five trillion in ship-borne trade passes each and every yr.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard Modifying by Clarence Fernandez)