Reuters) – China on Monday hit back at the Philippines for criticizing Beijing’s ongoing reclamation project in the disputed South China Sea, saying that its actions were within the scope of Chinese sovereignty.
China lays claim to almost all of the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich with minerals and oil-and-gas deposits. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims.
The United States has called on China to stop the land reclamation project that could be large enough to accommodate an airstrip. Beijing has called those remarks “irresponsible”, signaling that it would firmly reject proposals by any country to freeze any activity that may raise tension.