MANILA, Philippines – Ahead of the ASEAN Forum meeting this week, a senior Chinese official has rejected proposals of other claimants in disputed West Philippine Sea/ South China Sea by insisting China has all the right to build what it wants in the hotly-contested territories.
The Philippines has earlier announced it will propose in the meeting the freezing of all activities in the disputed islands to avoid further escalating the tension.
“The Spratly Islands are China’s intrinsic territory, and what China does or doesn’t do is up to the Chinese government. Nobody can change the government’s position,” said deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments, Yi Xianliang.
Yi added the Philippines’ proposal to freeze all activities causing tension in contested islands and waters will not help but could only be interpreted as an effort to “undermine drawn-out efforts by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a code of conduct in the South China Sea by acting as a replacement for the code.” (Click here to read more)