China is determined and able to continue to safeguard its justified rights and interests of the Nansha Islands by legitimate means, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
"On the Nansha Islands issues, we have resolute determination and enough capabilities. We will continue to take reasonable and legitimate approaches to safeguard our justified rights and interests of the Nansha Islands. We will work with the ASEAN countries to ensure peace and stability of the Nansha Islands," Wang said when asked to comment on the Nansha Islands issue.
Wang delivered a speech at the luncheon of the Fourth World Peace Forum which took place at prestigious Tsinghua University on Saturday.
Wang said China will work with other countries to safeguard the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all countries in accordance with international law in the South China Sea.
On China's recent land reclamation project on some stationed islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands, Wang said the major aim is to improve the working and living conditions of the people on the islands and reefs.
As a big power, China also offered some public goods to the international community by put in place those facilities on the islands and reefs for civilian use, Wang said. ' "China's necessary construction on its own islands and reefs are totally different in nature from some countries' seizure of Chinese islands and building facilities there," Wang said.
Wang stressed China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands is legally supported and based on facts, saying China fell victim to some countries' seizure and occupation of its islands and reefs since the exploration of oil in the South China Sea back to 1960s.
Wang said the Chinese government has always dealt with the Nansha Islands issue by peaceful means, citing the fact that China and ASEAN countries signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
"The Chinese government's position on the Nansha Islands is consistent. We will not change it," Wang said.
"China's sovereignty claim over the Nansha Islands has neither expanded nor dwindled," Wang said, calling on some countries to end the seizure and occupation of China's islands and reefs.