The foreign minister for China said in defense of the government’s land reclamation efforts that the undertaking was necessary and posed no threat to other nations. The efforts revolve around building land around disputed reefs and islands in the South China Sea.
Wang Yi said at a news conference on Sunday that the construction does not affect or even target anyone. The message was sent on the sidelines of a yearly parliament meeting.
He said that we are not to be compared to some countries that engage in illegal construction in the lands of another person. The Chinese government will not accept criticism from others when they are simply building facilities in their own area. The nation has every right to do this and the efforts are lawful and justified.
Recent satellite images show that China has substantially increased the reclamation and construction work on multiple reefs that it controls within the majorly disputed Spratly Islands in the previous two years. This has raised new concerns in Asian countries and the U.S. regarding the growing assertiveness of China in the region.
Officials from the United States have spoken out recently against the construction works that China has engaged. Defense experts said that the new island could form a network of island fortresses that could aid China in enforcing control of most of the South China Sea. The sea contains one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
The Vietnamese government openly protested the reclamation work in the previous week. Other countries that have claims in the South China Sea have also build infrastructure on reefs and islands that they control, although on a smaller scale in comparison to China.