China claims it has 'natural rights' over Spratlys | Global News

China claims it has ‘natural rights’ over Spratlys

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 03:51 PM April 11, 2018

South China Sea Analysis


China asserted on Wednesday that it has the “natural right” to build military structures and deploy its troops in the disputed Spratly Islands following growing criticisms on Beijing’s apparent militarization of the disputed South China Sea.

Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense of China, said the deployment of troops and constructions of military facilities in the Spratly Islands were “conducive to safeguarding the state’s sovereignty and security.”


“The Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) are China’s territory. It is the natural right of a sovereign state for China to station troops and deploy necessary territory defense facilities on the relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands. It is conducive to safeguarding the state’s sovereignty and security, ensuring the freedom and security of navigation channels in the South China Sea, and maintaining regional peace and stability. It is not directed against any country,” Ren said in a statement posted at the Ministry of Defense website.


“China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and a military strategy of active defense,” he added.

Aerial photographs obtained by the Inquirer showed that China was almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea into island fortresses, including the Spratly Islands.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, quoting United States Defense officials, that China has started deploying communications and radar jamming equipment in two of its outposts in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea.

READ: China deploys radar jamming equipment in South China Sea — Pentagon

Since assuming office in 2016, Duterte has chosen to seek dialogue with China rather than to press Beijing over the United Nations (UN) ruling invalidating China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.

ADVERTISEMENT has sought comments from Malacañang, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. but they have not responded as of posting time. /jpv

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TAGS: Beijing, China, Philippines, South China Sea, Spratlys, Territory

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