China rejects U.S. criticism of South China Sea activities


BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday rejected U.S. criticism of China’s reef construction in the South China Sea and urged the U.S. side to stop “groundless” accusations.

“China will never take such unreasonable criticism,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said when responding to a question at a regular news briefing.

She said China had repeatedly made clear the public service nature and legitimacy of reef construction and test flights at a newly built airport in the South China Sea.

Hua also urged the U.S. side to play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, instead of sowing discord.

A U.S. official was quoted as telling the press that ASEAN hoped to unite to protect maritime rights and avoid conflict in the region.

Hua said she would not comment the official’s remarks, as “the U.S. official is not the spokesperson of ASEAN.”

“Maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region is in the interest of all nations in the region,” Hua said.

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