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Beijing slams outside interference in South China Sea; region stable

By WANG QINGYUN | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-23 07:32
This satellite image shows the Yongshu Reef of China's Nansha Islands. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing urged Washington on Monday to stop making irresponsible remarks over the South China Sea and play a constructive role in maintaining peace in the region after the United States accused China of "coercive" activities in the waters.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the US Department of State quoted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's accusation of China's "blocking development in the SCS (South China Sea) through coercive means". US National Security Advisor John Bolton made similar remarks on Twitter.

The comments made by Pompeo and Bolton totally ignore the facts and will not fool countries and people in the region, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday.

Their remarks are slanderous to the will and efforts of China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea and manage disputes properly, Geng said at a daily news conference.

The US and other forces outside the region have long been "stirring up trouble" in the region "out of ulterior motives", Geng said, adding that such activities will only disrupt regional peace where the situation remains generally stable.

China and ASEAN members have maintained regional peace and stability by actively promoting pragmatic maritime cooperation and discussing a code of conduct within the framework of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, he added.

China has also maintained talks with countries involved to actively control disputes, Geng said.

"These facts are for all in the international community to see," he said, calling for the US to respect the facts as well as the efforts by China and ASEAN members to resolve disputes through talks.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

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