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`Outsides forces will complicate S China Sea row`

Vietnam, Philippines and China, along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have conflicting claims to all or part of the South China Sea.



Beijing: The Chinese military on Wednesday warned
that efforts by Vietnam, the Philippines and other ASEAN
countries to internationalise the dispute over the sovereignty of islands and surrounding waters in the South China Sea by roping in outside forces for oil exploration would further complicate the issue.

"Any move, which is designated to multilateralise or
internationalise the South China Sea issue, will make the
question more complex and neither will it help," Chinese
Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a briefing for
the local media here today.

Geng repeated China`s "constant" and "clear" stance,
saying that China owns the incontestable sovereignty of the
islands in the South China Sea and their surrounding waters,
the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

When asked to comment on the Philippines` attempt to
contest China on the issue by engaging other countries, Geng
said China always advocates for a peaceful solution through
bilateral talks and friendly consultations.

"We hope that concerned parties will behave in line with
the interests of regional peace and stability," he said.

China has already said ONGC Videsh’s oil exploration
programme in two oil blocks claimed by Vietnam will violate
its sovereignty.

On the navigation freedom in the waters, Geng said such
freedom has never been affected due to sovereignty disputes,
and China opposes any interference on the issue under the
guise of such an excuse.

Vietnam, Philippines and China, along with Brunei,
Malaysia and Taiwan have conflicting claims to all or part of
the South China Sea.

Tensions have mounted after the Philippines and Vietnam
accused China had taking aggressive stance to the disputed
area, which is believed to hold vast deposits of oil and gas.

PTI

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