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7/3, 12:16 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Beijing: South China Sea exercises 'sovereign right'

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (pictured) said on Friday that the military exercises the People's Liberation Army (China's armed forces) aims to carry out in the area surrounding ​​the disputed islands in the South China Sea are Beijing's "sovereign right."

After being asked to comment on the United States Department of Defense's statement of "concern" over the exercises, Zhao claimed that "some countries that do not have any territories in the South China Sea choose this area for large-scale maneuvers, trying to demonstrate their military power." Those countries are ought "be considered the main destabilizing factor" instead of China, he added.

Zhao insisted that Paracel Islands, also known as Xisha Islands, where the exercises are due to take place, are undoubtedly the "original Chinese territory."

Breaking the News / MS