China insists ‘inherent right’ to military activities in South China Sea


MANILA, Philippines — Responding to the Pentagon’s withdrawal of its invitation to participate in a multinational naval exercise, China justified its militarization of the disputed South China Sea.

The US disinvited China to the 2018 Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii as an “initial response” to Beijing’s increasing militarization in the region.

“It is our inherent right as a sovereign state to carry out normal construction activities on our own territory and conduct normal military training,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

Beijing appears to continuously deny that it is militarizing the South China Sea despite having installed missile systems and electronic jammers on its “big three” islands in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon pointed out that it has “strong evidence” that China has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile system, and electronic jammers to the contested features.

Washington also raised concern over China’s landing of an H-6K bomber on Woody Island, which raises tension in the region.

“It is a necessary measure to safeguard our sovereign security and maintain regional peace and stability, bearing not the slightest resemblance to the so-called ‘militarization’ that the US side has been irresponsibly accusing us of. The US has no right and no ground to accuse China on this issue,” Lu said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that the US was the first to propose military-to-military exchange between Washington and Beijing. Lu said that Beijing would not bow down to the US’ supposed manipulation.