Beijing is not trying to make trouble in the South China Sea, but has “no fear” of maritime disputes with other governments in the region, a top Chinese naval officer says.
Admiral Sun Jianguo of the People’s Liberation Army Navy made the comments in a speech Sunday, Reuters reports, during which he repeated China’s insistence that it doesn’t recognize the authority of a U.N. tribunal that is due to rule on a case brought by the Philippines over the two countries’ overlapping claims.
“We do not make trouble, but we have no fear of trouble,” said Sun. China, he said, “will not allow any infringement on its sovereignty and security interest, or stay indifferent to some countries creating chaos in the South China Sea.”
The speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore came a day ahead of the start of wide-ranging talks in Beijing on Monday between Chinese officials and a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry.
China insists that the U.S. should stay out of the disputes, which Chinese officials say should be solved bilaterally between China and counterclaimants the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.
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