Chinese Government Warns Against Provocations in South China Sea

  • Some media outlets had reported U.S. plans to sail in area
  • China urges parties play `responsible role' in regional peace

China said it won’t allow any country to violate its territory in the South China Sea, in response to reports that the U.S. may send ships to the disputed area.

Several media organizations including the Financial Times earlier reported plans by the U.S. to sail inside the 12 nautical-mile zone near islands China constructed around the Spratly chain. China claims more than 80 percent of the South China Sea, butting up against claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

“We urge relevant parties to refrain from any provocative words and actions, and play a responsible role in regional peace and stability,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry’s website Friday, when answering a question about the reported patrol plans. “China will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the South China Sea.”

The U.S. said on Thursday that it will expand a financial aid program to the maritime law enforcement agencies of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia to more than $100 million. The money, increased from $25 million at the program’s inception, will be used to provide coast guards and other maritime agencies with equipment and vessels to help them improve communications and surveillance of their domains.

China hopes that relevant parties play constructive roles in the region and “do less to fan the flames,” Hua said, when asked about the increased aid.

— With assistance by Hui Li

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