China unveiled details of its plan for building and maintenance projects on some of its islands in the South China Sea on April 9, saying it aims mainly to provide a civilian service that will benefit other countries.
The details were announced by the Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing, “We are setting up shelters, aids for navigation, search and rescue as well as marine meteorological forecasting services, fishery services and other administrative services.
“These will provide necessary services to China, neighboring countries and individual vessels sailing in the South China Sea.”
Hua said the construction work also aims to meet “necessary demands” for China’s military defense, but the efforts “are aimed more at providing civilian services” in an area that suffers frequently from typhoons and where many vessels sail far from land.
“The construction work is a matter that is entirely within the scope of China’s sovereignty. It is fair, reasonable and lawful. It does not affect, and is not targeted against, any country. It is beyond reproach,” Hua said.
Hua said on April 9 that “recent erroneous and negative comments made by individual countries” have missed the point.
“China adheres to the path of peaceful development and carries out a defensive national defense policy. Maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea is in line with the development and security of China.”