China establishes combat-ready patrol system in West Philippine Sea
China claimed Tuesday to have established a regular combat-ready patrol system in the West Philippine Sea (also called South China Sea), as it insisted on its "indisputable sovereign rights" over the area.
Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said China has indisputable sovereign rights over the South China Sea islands and adjacent waters, and China opposes any military intervention in this area.
"The Chinese navy is justified in protecting the country's interests, and it is groundless to equate such a justified action with tough foreign policy," an article posted on the Chinese government's web portal Tuesday quoted Geng as saying.
But he said the system was established to maintain China's territorial sovereignty and safeguard its maritime rights, and does not target any other country or specific goals.
Earlier, China established a garrison in Sansha, an area in the disputed Spratly Islands administered by a 34-year-old Philippine town.
China said the Sansha garrison is "responsible for defense mobilization, militia reserves, the relationship between the garrison and local government as well as the city guard, support for the city's disaster rescue and relief work, and direct militia and reserve troops in the city of Sansha."
"The formation of troops and arms mainly depends on its military tasks," Geng added.
Geng also said the establishment of Sansha City is a "readjustment" by the Chinese government to existing administrative bodies.
He said this is an issue within China's sovereignty and unrelated to other countries.
The disputes over the West Philippine Sea mainly revolve around the sovereignty over some islands and part of the sea delimitation in the area, Geng added.
Meanwhile, Geng said China will seek "appropriate" solutions via negotiations and consultations with parties involved in the disputes.
"China will continue to seek appropriate solutions through bilateral negotiations and consultations with the parties directly involved in the concerned disputes," he said.
He added China is willing to cooperate with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in all fields, including the defense security relationship, to boost regional peace, stability and prosperity. — RSJ, GMA News
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