China says 'extremely concerned' by U.S. comments on South China Sea

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2015 3:30 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is "extremely concerned" about comments from a U.S. commander who said the United States should patrol close to small islands under China's control in the South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said on Thursday the United States should challenge China's claim to territory in the waters, much of which are disputed between China and Southeast Asian countries, by patrolling close to artificial islands built by China.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing that China demanded the United States respect China's sovereignty and refrain from provocative actions.

(Reporting By Ben Blanchard; Writing By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Robert Birsel)