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Remarks by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU on EU Official's Remarks Concerning Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea

Q: An Australian media outlet reported that an official from the European External Action Service said, during a visit to Australia for the ASEAN Maritime Security Forum, that a peaceful South China Sea is very important to Europe, and that the possibility of European navies conducting freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea could not be ruled out in the future. What is your comment?

A: The report by the EU official, if true, raises concerns from the Chinese side. As is known to all, no problems exist regarding the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, thanks to the joint efforts of China and other littoral countries of the South China Sea. Right now, the situation in the South China Sea is moving in a positive direction, and countries in the area are working to enhance cooperation and mutual trust through dialogue and communication. This is a fact to be fully recognized by all organizations and countries from outside the area that are truly willing to see peace and stability be maintained in the South China Sea. It is hoped that they all play a constructive role, and do more to build trust, rather than the opposite regarding the situation in the South China Sea.

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