Beijing has no intention of stopping its island building campaign in the South China Sea Spratly Islands, Chinese state-controlled media reported, citing to the words of the head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Admiral Wu Shengli, at the meeting with Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.
According to Chinese state-controlled media, the head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Admiral Wu Shengli, told his US counterpart that Beijing is going to complete the outfitting of several artificial islands off the coast of the Philippines. Wu Shengli also added that China does not care about an international arbitration tribunal decision on the illegality of China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.
“We will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands [Spratly] halfway… the Nansha Islands are China’s inherent territory, and our necessary construction on the islands is reasonable, justified and lawful,” the Xinhua News Agency reported on July 18, quoting the words of the China’s Admiral. “Any attempt to force China to give in through flexing military muscles will only have the opposite effect.”
According to Wu Shengli, the right to increase defenses in the location will also be kept by China.
The deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, Admiral Sun Jianguo, said that a continuation of free navigation operation by foreign navies in the South China Sea near Chinese holdings could be dangerous. The statement was made separate to the meeting.
“This kind of military freedom of navigation is damaging to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and it could even play out in a disastrous way,” the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the words of the Admiral, speaking at the Tsinghua University on July 16.
Three free navigation operations have been conducted by the US in the South China Sea since October. Each time Beijing expressed its dissatisfaction.
At the same time, Wu Shengli noted that China is going to continue security cooperation with the US in the South China Sea and added that it is “the only correct option.”
The discussion of maritime issues between the head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy and his US counterpart took about three and a half hours. After his visit in Beijing, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson is planning to visit China’s North Sea Fleet and tour the aircraft carrier Liaoning (CV-16).