BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- China on Sunday expressed strong dissatisfaction with and firm opposition to "irresponsible remarks" made by the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada on the South China Sea and Taiwan issues during the just concluded Shangri-La Dialogue.
Stressing China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands and their adjacent waters, spokesperson Hua Chunying said China has always been committed to peacefully solving disputes through consultation and negotiation with countries directly concerned.
China has always respected and maintained the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law. Meanwhile, China firmly opposes certain countries' sabre-rattling in the region under the excuse of that freedom, which threatens China's sovereignty and security, Hua said.
China's construction projects on the Nansha islands are aimed at improving working and living conditions of staff there while better fulfilling its international obligations, Hua said.
She said necessary defense facilities built in a sovereign state's territory represents its self-protection and self-defense rights, and has nothing to do with the so-called "militarization".
The situation in the South China Sea has improved and shown positive development momentum, Hua said, citing the success of the first meeting of the China-Philippines bilateral consultation mechanism, and the agreement between China and ASEAN countries on the framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.
Hua said China hopes relevant parties will fully respect efforts made by countries in the region and play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.
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