World / Europe

Commentary: South China Sea issue not major concern of Western countries

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-09 09:21

BEIJING -- Leaders of the world's seven industrialized countries on Monday expressed concern about unilateral actions to change the status quo in the South China Sea.

The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States -- voiced their worries in a declaration released at the end of their two-day summit earlier in the day.

Although the G7 leaders stopped short of mentioning any specific country in the declaration, it is obvious that the Western countries pointed fingers at China -- the largest stakeholder in the South China Sea issue.

In fact, no member state of the G7 group is a party to the issue, and unreasonable interference in maritime disputes between China and some Asian countries will not only harm relations between the West and China, but also threaten peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

First, there is no need for China to adopt "any unilateral actions" to "change the status quo" of South China Sea islands because they are legally and historically owned by China.

China's sovereignty and claims of rights over islands in the South China Sea have been formed in the long course of history and upheld by successive Chinese governments, which has adequate and solid historical and legal basis.

Second, what China is doing on the South China Sea islands including construction activities on some garrisoned islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea is totally within its sovereignty. They are lawful, reasonable and justified, which does not affect or target any other countries.

China, a staunch force for peace and stability in the region, is committed to a path of peaceful development, a defense policy that is defensive in nature, and a foreign policy of building friendship and partnership with its neighbors.

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