Beijing: South China Sea dispute amid growing tensions with the US, China today said that won’t use force “recklessly” for resolving disputes and proposed joint defence drills with ASEAN countries to brace for unplanned and accidental military encounters at sea. China always insists on resolving divergence and disputes through friendly negotiations with parties directly concerned and will try utmost to avoid unexpected conflicts, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) Fan Changlong said.
“China has always advocated handling disputes by peaceful manners and will not use force recklessly even if it comes to issues related to territory and sovereignty,” sources said. The official claimed, China has settled border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbours except India and Bhutan. He also defended the construction of lighthouses as well as other infrastructure in the disputed islands in South China Sea (SCS) which intensified tensions in the region.
From the time of Mao Tse Tung, China continuously claims sovereignty on almost all of the South China Sea which is firmly opposed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The five countries now are backed by US in staking their claims countering that of China. The forum is organised annually by Chinese military to step up interaction among the defence officials and establishments of different countries. Indian defence officials have also been invited to take part in it.
To implement the international maritime code better, the navies of China and the US drilled together in the eastern Pacific last year.