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FM dismisses blame on China's land reclamation in South China Sea

By ZHANG YUNBI (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2015-03-08 14:42:36


Responding to recent criticisms about China's land reclamation in the South China Sea, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that the country "has every right to do things that are lawful and justified".

Wang made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

Recent media reports said China is reclaiming lands around its islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

In a reply to a question about whether the move signals a change in China's policy toward the South China Sea and even the neighborhood, Wang said: "China is carrying out necessary construction on its own islands and reefs. The construction does not target or affect anyone."

"We are not like some countries who engage in illegal construction in another person's house, and we do not accept criticism from others when we are merely building facilities in our own yard. We have every right to do things that are lawful and justified," Wang said.

China will continue to uphold freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, peacefully resolve disputes through direct dialogue and consultation, and play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability, Wang said.

China's policy toward the neighborhood is guided by the principles of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness", and it aims to bring harmony, stability and prosperity to the area, Wang said.

"This policy has not and will not change," Wang said.