China reaffirmed its territorial claims in the South China Sea and urged the U.S. to keep its promise of a neutral position on the sovereignty issue on Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Spokesperson Hong Lei made the remarks in response to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken's remarks yesterday that China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is undermining freedom and stability, and could even lead to conflict.
Hong said China's construction in the South China Sea is within China's sovereignty, aiming to provide service for marine search and rescue, disaster prevention and reduction, navigation safety, as well as fulfilling China's international responsibilities and obligations.
Hong said China's construction is peaceful and beneficial to the public, and the assumption from the U.S.side has not a leg to stand on.
Hong said Blinken's remarks make no contribution to resolve the disputes and go against regional countries' mutual trust and peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The U.S. should act in a prudent manner to play a constructive role on peace and stability in the region, Hong said.