Beijing, June 13: Beijing has urged the United States military to scale down its naval and air activities in the South China Sea and stick to its stand of not taking sides in territorial disputes in order to maintain peace and stability in the region.
According to reports, Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, re-affirmed the People’s Republic’s stance on the South China Sea during his meeting with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the Pentagon.
Fan Changlong reportedly said that the islands located in the sea and their adjacent waters had been well within China’s territory since ancient times.
Fan, who is on a weeklong visit to Washington DC, also asserted that Beijing had the right to establish military facilities on its own territories and added that the construction work on some of the islands were primarily aimed at improving the living and working conditions of the residents there.
The Chinese official also told Carter that the South China Sea issue was just an episode in the history of China-US ties and urged Washington to ‘take the higher ground’ to look into future by paying more attention to other, more important regional and international issues.
(With Agency Inputs)