Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense. (Photo/mod.gov.cn)
The United States has continued to strengthen its military deployment in the South China Sea in order to of stir up tensions in the region, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said on Thursday.
Tan made the comment in response to U.S. officials' recent accusation China is "militarizing" the South China Sea and therefore the U.S. would enhance its military presence in the Philippines.
"China has undisputable sovereignty over islands and their adjacent waters in the South China Sea," Tan said. "China building infrastructure and necessary defensive structures on these islands are a lawful exercise of national sovereignty and entirely legitimate."
Tan said other countries have no right to make irresponsible remarks about these actions. He added China has expressed serious concerns about the U.S.' development to new military bases the Philippines on multiple occasions.
"Currently, the U.S. is strengthening its military deployment in the South China Sea and deliberately heightening tensions. Countries from the region should remain highly vigilant to these developments," he said.
The Chinese military will resolutely defend the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, and will firmly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, Tan concluded.