No problems with South China Sea navigation: China



Beijing: China on Friday said its move to authorise border police to board and seize ships in the disputed South China Sea will not affect international navigation through the troubled waters.

"China attaches importance to the South China Sea and there is no problem in this regard at the moment", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here today while replying to questions on the concerns in different countries over provincial Hainan government authorising police to board the ships in the South China Sea waters.

China considers entire South China Sea waters in the Pacific as its own. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan dispute China's claims to different islands in the sea.

"We insist that all relevant disputes with neighbouring countries should be resolved through friendly negotiation and consultation," Hong said.

Yesterday, a report in the state-run China Daily said that police in southern Chinese island of Hainan will be authorised to board and search ships that "illegally enter the province's waters" from January.

PTI