Chinese dredging ships in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, in an image from a surveillance video. US Navy, file
MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) on Tuesday stressed that China does not have a valid reason in its attempt to restrict freedom of navigation and overflight in the disputed South China Sea.
US Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs in the East Asia and Pacific Bureau Colin Willett said that the facilities that China has been building in the disputed waters are not needed to protect civilians or monitor the weather.
“The runways that they have built are designed to accommodate strategic bombers, not coddle points for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. We still see radio operators channeling for ships and planes that are operating in accordance to the international law and warning them to stay away,” Willett said in a telephone conference with members of the press.