外文标题：US welcome to use civilian facilities in South China Sea: China
BEIJING: The United States and other countries will be welcome to use civilian facilities China is building in the South China Sea for search and rescue and weather forecasting "when conditions are right", China's navy chief has told a senior US officer.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Recent satellite images show China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in the disputed Spratly Islands and may be planning another.
Those moves, along with other reclamations, have caused alarm around the region and in Washington too, with the issue dominating a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this week, to China's displeasure.
In a teleconference with the US Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert, China's navy chief Wu Shengli said China's building work in the South China Sea would not affect freedom of navigation or overflight.
"Instead, it will improve the ability in these seas of public services like weather forecasting and maritime search and rescue, fulfilling international obligations to maintain the security of international seas," Wu said, according to a Chinese Defence Ministry statement released late on Thursday.
Rk NY (NY USA)
what a joke..?? as if US of all nations would need chinese permission to use civilian facilities in south china sea ?! when US has its might ships for surveillance on the chinese activities in the region..!!! besides now even India has been invited by the US to park its ships in the US base in the pacific base .. ..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
web presence (Pune)
If China wants to show off the facilities, she should welcome Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Can China accept this challenge?
kevinimorton kevinimorton ()
China has no right to build on disputed areas and as a responsible country it should stop causing trouble and creating instablility in the region. Here china this is from a common man in a free country tell you to stop making our world a disaster zone just like you had it for 5000 tears.