|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Remarks on Comments by the US State Department Official on the South China Sea|
Q: US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel reportedly said in congressional testimony on February 5 that "any use of the 'nine-dash line' by China to claim maritime rights would be inconsistent with international law", urging China to clarify or adjust its position. What is China's comment?
A: China's rights and interests in the South China Sea are formed in history and protected by international law. China stays committed to resolving maritime disputes with countries directly-concerned through negotiation and consultation. China pays high attention to safeguarding peace and stability of the South China Sea together with ASEAN countries by implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. China's position is clear-cut and consistent. To deliberately create an issue and play up tension will do no good to peace and stability of Southeast Asia. Relevant comments made by the US official in congressional testimony are not constructive. We urge the US to be rational and fair and play a constructive role for peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region, rather than the opposite.