April 26, 2021 – Concerning the EU’s statement on the South China Sea, a spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the European Union (EU) said on April 24 that the destabilizing factors and security risks in the South China Sea mainly come from outside the region, and the South China Sea should not become a tool for certain countries to contain and suppress China.
Earlier that day, a spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS) issued a statement, claiming that tensions in the region, “including the recent presence of large Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef”, which China calls Niu’E Jiao Reef, had endangered regional peace and stability.
The spokesperson for the Chinese Mission to the EU reiterated that the reef is part of China’s Nansha Islands. The reef and its adjacent waters have always been important operating areas and shelters for the Chinese fishing boats. ”It is reasonable and lawful,” said the spokesperson, “How could this endanger regional peace and stability?”
The current situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and China has been maintaining close communication on relevant issues with countries in the region, including the Philippines, said the spokesperson, adding that countries in the region and beyond have in recent years seen clearly that “the destabilizing factors and security risks in the South China Sea mainly come from outside the region.”
Whatsoever, the spokesperson stressed that the South China Sea should not become a tool for certain countries to contain and suppress China, much less a wrestling ground for major-power rivalry. The EU is urged to respect the efforts of countries in the region to properly address differences, maintain stability in the South China Sea, and stop sowing discord, added the spokesperson.
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