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SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE: China Brings Clarity to Theory and Practice ‘Freedom of Navigation’

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“Freedom of navigation is not a freedom to invade and violate sovereignty,” said Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom, Liu Xiaoming.

According to the diplomat, Beijing “appreciates” the principle of freedom of navigation. However, it will not remain inactive, as Western powers use it as a pretext to show their “military strength” and “create problems” in the South China Sea, the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom was quoted by the embassy’s website as saying.

“Some powers from outside the region do not seem to appreciate the peace and tranquility in the South China Sea, they always send warships and airplanes to create problems,” he said at a meeting of diplomats in London

China is concerned that the US and its allies are blatantly invading the waters of the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands, where China has military infrastructure to protect its territorial claims, he said.

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“With the excuse of so-called ‘freedom of navigation’, they ignored the vast sea route and chose to navigate the adjacent waters of China’s islands and reefs to show their military power,” the ambassador said, adding that such actions are a “serious violation of China’s sovereignty.”

Some areas in the South China Sea and the East China Sea are disputed by countries such as Brunei, China, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China considers the Spratly Islands as its territory, although the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has established that there are no legal bases for such requirements.

This comes as China continues to push ahead in becoming a global superpower that will surpass the United States economically and militarily. It is for this reason that western powers are doing all they can to sanction and pressurize the Asian Giant. Despite this intense pressure, China continues to engage with the world and expand its economic network.

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