By Mei Jingya, Sina English
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei addressed key issues in the South China Sea concerning neighbor countries at a regular press briefing on Monday.
On Chinese-Philippine ship collision
Question: Philippine media reported that a Chinese vessel rammed a Philippine fishing boat, killing one and leaving four others missing. Any comment?
Hong Lei: We checked up the Philippine’s claim with relevant departments. Up to now, the Chinese side has received no report about the alleged ship collision or calls for help from the aforementioned waters.
On Huangyan Island situation
Question: Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said China has withdrawn all government vessels from Huangyan Island. Would you please confirm the report?
Hong Lei: The tension in the Huangyan Island is easing in general. Chinese vessels have been cruising off the island and its nearby waters and have also remained on alert over the situation.
On establishment of Sansha city
Question: The Ministry of Civil Affairs recently announced the establishment of Sansha city to administer South China Sea island groups and waters. Does China have plans to send people to inhabit these islands?
Hong Lei: China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their adjacent waters. The Chinese government established Sansha city to help improve management of the region. China is excising its sovereignty doing so.
On Philippines building kindergarten on Zhongye Island
Question: Media reports say the Philippines built a kindergarten on Zhongye Island, one of the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. Any comment?
Hong Lei: China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, and China opposes any foreign country encroaching upon China’s sovereignty. All countries concerned should strictly abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, avoid escalating or complicating the situation, and should make efforts to safeguard regional peace and stability.