China criticizes G-7 statement on South China Sea

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing on Tuesday strongly criticized a statement from foreign ministers of the Group of 7 industrialized countries taking aim at China’s island-building activities in disputed sections of the South China Sea.

For the second straight day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang defended China’s land-reclamation work in the Spratly island group and accused the G-7 of diverging from its mission of safeguarding the global economy.

“Given the sluggish global economic recovery at the moment, the G-7 should have focused on global economic governance and cooperation instead of hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region,” Lu said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

“China is strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by the G-7,” he said.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry confirmed in a statement that a representative of the German Embassy in Beijing was “asked” to come to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday to discuss the G7 statement.

“The representative of the German embassy made clear in the conversation that Germany stands by the joint G7 statement on maritime security, and explained our position once again,” the ministry said.

On Monday, the G-7 ministers had issued their own statement expressing strong opposition to any “intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions.”

The statement, which did not mention China by name, also expressed concern about the situation in the East China Sea, where Japan and China both claim a string of uninhabited islands.

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