China mounts detailed defence of South China Sea reclamation

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Thursday sketched out plans for the islands it is creating in the disputed South China Sea, saying they would be used for military defence as well as to provide civilian services that would benefit other countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing that the reclamation and building work in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea was needed partly because of the risk of typhoons in an area with a lot of shipping that is far from land.

“We are building shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services” for China and neighbouring countries, Hua said.

The islands and reefs would also meet the demands for China’s military defence, Hua said without elaborating.

It is rare for China to give such detail about its plans for the artificial islands. The rapid reclamation taking place on seven reefs has alarmed other claimants and drawn U.S. criticism, including from Defence Secretary Ash Carter, who is visiting Japan and South Korea this week.

 

Read more: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/reuters/china-mounts-detailed-defence-of-south-china-sea-reclamation/41370394

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