[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

China defends patrolling disputed waters

People's Liberation Army says military patrols in South China Sea and East China Sea are legitimate

Last Modified: 02 Jun 2013 08:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
China's naval strength is growing, with its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning , now in service[AP]

China has vowed to continue military patrols of waters where it has territorial claims, amid rows with neighbours over the South China Sea and islands controlled by Japan.

Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, the deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, said the patrols were legitimate and China's sovereignty was undisputed.

"Why are Chinese warships patrolling in East China Sea and South China Sea? I think we are all clear about this," Qi told a security conference in Singapore.

"They are in our Chinese sovereignty. We are very clear about that. So the Chinese warships and the patrolling activities are totally legitimate."

Qi was responding to a question from a delegate after he gave a speech in which he sought to assure neighbouring countries that China has no hegemonic ambitions.

"China has never taken foreign expansion and military conquering as a state policy," he said.

Historical disputes

China is locked in a territorial dispute with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

The four states have partial claims but China says it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the sea, including waters and territories much closer to other countries and thousands of kilometres from the Chinese coast.

China also has a dispute with Japan over the Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea.

Manila last month protested at what it called the "provocative and illegal presence" of a Chinese warship near Second Thomas Shoal, which is occupied by Philippine troops.

China and Vietnam fought in 1974 and 1988 for control of islands in battles that left dozens of soldiers dead.

Maritime disputes and the risks of them sparking a military conflict were a key theme during the two-day conference that ended Sunday.

294

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.