China has strongly criticized a statement released by foreign ministers at the Group of 7 industrialized countries (G-7) meeting which expressed concern over tensions and territorial disputes surrounding the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang accused the G-7 in a statement of "hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region," and said China was "strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by the G-7".
The statement also advised the G-7 to "respect the efforts by regional countries, stop all irresponsible words and actions, and make constructive contribution to regional peace and stability".
The G-7's statement made in Japan this week expressed "strong opposition to any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions, and urge all states to refrain from such actions as land reclamation, including large scale ones, building outposts, as well as their use for military purposes."
While the G-7 statement did not explicitly name China, which is not a G-7 member, it contained a message critical of Beijing’s massive efforts to assert its claims over a string of islands in the South China Sea through new constructions.
It came as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to reach a decision soon on a case filed by the Philippines against Beijing.
In January 2013, Manila formally complained about what it called China’s “excessive claim” to practically the entire South China Sea. China voiced strong opposition about the case being taken to the international tribunal.
Foreign ministers from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan met this week in Hiroshima to discuss issues — including regional and global security — paving the way next month for a G-7 leaders’ summit.