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Foreign ministry says Beijing seeks no military conflicts with US in South China Sea

The diplomat noted that Beijing’s stance on the issue is "very unambiguous"

BEIJING, February 8. /TASS/. China does not want any military confrontation with the United States in the South China Sea, even if Washington fails to maintain neutrality on Beijing’s territorial disputes with the regional states, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters on Wednesday.

"We are absolutely not interested in conflicts with other countries and call for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea as this is in the interests of all states," the spokesman said.

The diplomat noted that Beijing’s stance on the issue is "very unambiguous."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday the United States should brush up on its history about the South China Sea and look at the 1943 Cairo Declaration and the 1945 Potsdam Declaration. The two World War Two-related documents clearly say that Japan had to return the earlier seized territories to China, including the Nansha (Spratly) Islands in the South China Sea.

Over the past decades, China has had territorial disputes with several countries of the region over a number of islands in the South China Sea, which are rich in hydrocarbons. These are the Xisha (Paracel) Islands, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the Huangyan Island (the Scarborough Shoal). Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines are involved in the dispute.

Tensions escalated after an international tribunal in The Hague ruled in July 2016 that China has no historic rights to the disputed islands in the South China Sea and a large part of its water area. Beijing rejected the court’s ruling saying it is not legally binding.