China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction with what it labeled “irresponsible remarks” on the South China Sea by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a security forum at the weekend, Reuters reports. Mattis accused China of having contempt for other nations’ interests and disregarding international law. He told the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that the construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea undermined regional stability. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s construction of facilities in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea was aimed at improving working conditions for people stationed there, maintaining sovereignty and fulfilling China’s international responsibilities. The sovereign activities undertaken by China had nothing to do with militarization, Hua said in remarks posted on the ministry’s website late on Sunday.
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