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China warns on South China Sea as US, India consider patrols

China lays claim to most of the South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.


China warns on South China Sea as US, India consider patrols

Beijing: China on Thursday responded to a Reuters report that the US and India are discussing joint naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea, warning that interference from countries outside the region threatens peace and stability.

"No cooperation between any countries should be directed at a third party," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in an emailed statement to Reuters, in response to a request for comment on the report published on Wednesday.

"Countries from outside the area must stop pushing forward the militarisation of the South China Sea, cease endangering the sovereignty and national security of littoral countries in the name of `freedom of navigation` and harming the peace and stability of the region."

The United States wants its regional allies and other Asian nations to adopt a more united stance against China over the South China Sea, where tension has spiked since China`s construction of seven islands in the Spratly archipelago.

China lays claim to most of the South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims. 

A US defence official told Reuters this week the United States and India had held talks about joint naval patrols that could include the South China Sea.

The Indian navy has never carried out joint patrols with another country and a navy spokesman told Reuters there was no change in the government`s policy of only joining an international military effort under the UN flag.

Neither the United States nor India have claims to the area, but the United States says it is concerned about shipping lanes running through the South China Sea, which carry an estimated $5 trillion of trade every year.

From Zee News

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