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China to Meet with G-7 Diplomats about South China Sea

  • VOA News

FILE - Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

FILE - Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

Beijing has summoned diplomatic representatives from the Group of 7 industrialized nations to further express anger at a statement about the disputed South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Wednesday China summoned the diplomatic envoys of relevant countries and "solemnly clarified" to them its position on the maritime dispute.

The G-7 statement this week expressed "strong opposition to any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions." It urged all states to refrain from land reclamation, building outposts, and their use for military purposes.

The statement did not explicitly name China.

South China Sea Territorial Claims

South China Sea Territorial Claims

'Strongly dissatisfied'

But China responded to the G-7 statement Tuesday, accusing it of "hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region," and expressing China was "strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by the G-7."

The G-7 statement contained a message critical of China's massive efforts to assert its claims over a string of islands in the South China Sea through new construction.

Satellite imagery analysis by geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor shows overall land, building and military expansion by China on Woody Island in the South China Sea. (Courtesy of Stratfor)

Satellite imagery analysis by geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor shows overall land, building and military expansion by China on Woody Island in the South China Sea. (Courtesy of Stratfor)

China has defended its land reclamation as being within its territorial rights, and has accused the G7 of straying from its mission to protect the global economy.

China, which is not a G-7 member, and Japan, which is a member, have claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped yearly.

Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam also have claims to territory in the South China Sea.

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