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China is not militarizing South China Sea, Premier Li says

SYDNEY China is not militarizing a South China Sea, Premier Li Keqiang pronounced on Friday, nonetheless he concurred that invulnerability apparatus on islands in a doubtful current had been placed there to say “freedom of navigation”.

China has drawn general critique for large-scale building in a South China Sea, nonetheless Li told reporters in Australia a growth was for municipal functions only.

“China’s facilities, Chinese islands and reefs, are essentially for municipal functions and, even if there is a certain volume of invulnerability apparatus or facilities, it is for progressing a leisure of navigation,” Li said.

China claims many of a resource-rich South China Sea, by that about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, a Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on a vital waterway.

The United States estimates Beijing has combined some-more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land on 7 facilities in a South China Sea over a past 3 years, building runways, ports, aircraft hangars and communications equipment.

The United States has conducted a array of freedom-of-navigation operations in a South China Sea, lifting tensions between Washington and Beijing.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china-idUSKBN16V04A