China rejects Phl call for construction ban in disputed sea


BEIJING  — China rejected a suggestion by the Philippines for a regionwide ban on construction in the South China Sea after Beijing began building a school on a rugged outpost it created to strengthen its claims to disputed waters.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said he will propose that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations call for such a moratorium. “I think we would use the international community to step up and to say that we need to manage the tensions in the South China Sea before it gets out of hand,” del Rosario said.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that the Philippines was making “irresponsible remarks.” She said China was committed to resolving issues with countries on a bilateral basis, and that island disputes between China and the Philippines were not an issue for ASEAN.

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