China rejects Philippine airport on Pag-asa island

Reuters

Posted at Jan 07 2013 08:38 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2013 04:22 PM

BEIJING, China - China on Monday said that it opposed "violations" of its territory in response to the Philippines' recent plans to build a new airport along the disputed Spratly Islands in the sensitive South China Sea.

Media reports said the government will begin developing infrastructure projects on Philippines-controlled Pag-asa (Thithu) island. Among the scheduled construction projects is that of an international airport.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands. China opposes all actions that violate its sovereignty. We hope that relevant countries can effectively abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and do not take actions that will complicate or escalate the problem," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news conference in Beijing.

The island is part of what are called the Spratly Islands in the Philippines, and Nansha in China.

Claims by an increasingly powerful China over most of the South China Sea have set it directly against U.S. allies Vietnam and the Philippines.

Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the mineral-rich waters.