China Warns US to Stay out of Artificial Island
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A top Chinese general warned the United States to “stay out” of Beijing’s project of building an artificial island in the South China Sea, saying the construction is legitimate and justifiable.
"The US is obviously biased considering that the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam have already set up military facilities," People's Liberation Army Major General Luo Yuan said on Monday.
"China is likely to withstand the international pressure and continue the construction, since it is completely legitimate and justifiable,” he added.
The strong warning was issued after Washington criticized China for building an island in the Spratly Islands that is large enough for an airfield in the South China Sea.
The island with 3,000 meters long and 200-300 meters wide can accommodate an airstrip and a harbor large enough for tankers and naval warships, said IHS Jane's Defense Weekly.
Following the revelation of the project, the United States called on China to freeze the construction of the island.
"We urge China to stop its land reclamation program, and engage in diplomatic initiatives to encourage all sides to restrain themselves in these sorts of activities," said US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Pool.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated after the US accused China of using territorial claims to gradually assert control in the disputed South China Sea.
China, however, rejected the accusations, Press TV reported.