Beijing tries to soothe West Philippine Sea jitters


BEIJING—China on Saturday sought to soothe tensions over its South China Sea claims, saying it will avoid the use of force in the region as the United States ponders sending warships close to territory claimed by the Asian giant.

Speaking at the Xiangshan regional defense forum in Beijing, Fan Changlong, vice chair of China’s Central Military Commission, pledged that the country would “never recklessly resort to the use of force, even on issues bearing on sovereignty.”

“We have done our utmost to avoid unexpected conflicts,” Fan added.

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