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Wang Yi: Demilitarization in the South China Sea Requires Joint Efforts from Countries both Inside and Outside the Region

2016/02/17

On February 17, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia jointly met the press after holding the third round of China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Beijing. In response to questions from the reporters, Wang Yi clarified China's stance on Chinese military facilities on the islands and reefs of the South China Sea.

Wang Yi expressed that China's deploying limited and necessary national defense facilities on the Nansha islands and reefs is in line with the self-preservation and self-defense rights every sovereign country is entitled to under the international law, which is blameless and has nothing to do with militarization. Wang Yi hopes the media will pay more attention to the lighthouses that have been built and weather observation and forecast stations as well as fishing boats shelter and rescue facilities that are to be constructed by China on the islands and reefs with Chinese military presence. As the biggest coastal state in the South China Sea, China is providing public goods and services to the international community.

Wang Yi stressed that demilitarization is in accordance with the interests of all parties, but it should not be implemented by only one country or practiced under double or multiple standards. Demilitarization in the South China Sea requires joint efforts from countries both inside and outside the region. We have noticed that in the Joint Statement of the US-ASEAN Special Leaders' Summit, the two sides have pledged to implement demilitarization. It is hoped that this promise could be fulfilled.

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