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China says it opposes Philippine construction on Nansha Islands

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : China firmly opposes the Philippine side conducting any form of construction activity on the islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Islands that it invaded and illegally occupied, a spokesperson for China’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters, which is fully backed by historical and legal evidence,” Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, told reporters, urging the Philippines to respect history and recognize reality.

The current difficulties in China-Philippines relations “are rooted in the Philippines’ treachery, collusion with powers outside the region and its constant infringement and provocation in the South China Sea that undermine China’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” Wu said.

China is willing to resolve differences with the Philippines through bilateral dialogue and consultation, Wu said, but warned that China will take firm countermeasures if the Philippines is bent on going down the wrong path.

Earlier this month, a Philippine defense official said the country is building defense alliances with the U.S. and other security partners to help pave the way for resource exploration in the South China Sea.