China firmly opposes those actions under the pretext of "freedom of navigation and overflight" to undermine the sovereignty and security interests of littoral countries along the South China Sea, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a news briefing when answering a question related to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's recent comment that South China Sea "doesn't belong to any one nation, and the United States will continue to sail and fly wherever international law allows."
"We have long said that freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea has never encountered any problem," Hua said, adding that "up to now, no country had ever provided any evidence of problems with freedom of navigation or overflight in the South China Sea."
"It can be seen that the so-called issue of navigation freedom is non-existent," Hua said.
China's position is very clear. The Chinese side is willing to join hands with other regional countries to firmly ensure freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all countries under international law, she said.
"May I trouble you to remind the U.S. relevant individual that the United States has yet to ratify the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS)," the spokesperson said.
"If the U.S. side can at an early date ratify and abide by UNCLOS, then I think this will benefit even more the protection of peace and stability in the South China Sea," she added.