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China says Vietnam, Philippines' mingling on disputed isle a "farce"

Published on Jun 9, 2014 4:39 PM
 
Vietnamese naval servicemen and Filipino naval servicemen play volleyball during a friendly match on Vietnam-held Song Tu Tay or Southwest Cay island of the disputed Spratly Islands on South China Sea on June 8, 2014. China denounced Vietnam and the Philippines on Monday for getting together on a disputed island in the South China Sea to play soccer and volleyball, calling it"a clumsy farce" and demanded both countries stop causing trouble. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China denounced Vietnam and the Philippines on Monday for getting together on a disputed island in the South China Sea to play soccer and volleyball, calling it"a clumsy farce" and demanded both countries stop causing trouble.

The comments by a foreign ministry spokesman were China's first response to the gathering on the Vietnamese-held island of Southwest Cay on Sunday.

Philippine naval officials described the meeting of soldiers from the two sides as a chance to show there can be harmony despite a web of overlapping claims to the potentially energy-rich waters.

"Don't you think this small move together by Vietnam and the Philippines is at most a clumsy farce?" China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing. "China has irrefutable sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and the seas nearby," she said. "We demand that Vietnam and the Philippines stop any behaviour that picks quarrels and causes trouble ... and not do anything to complicate or magnify the dispute."

 
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