US says China's activity in South China Sea won't help peace

A handout picture made available by the Philippines armed forces on April 20, 2015 shows construction at Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the disputed Spratley Islands in the South China Sea by China on Feb 18 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
A handout picture made available by the Philippines armed forces on April 20, 2015 shows construction at Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the disputed Spratley Islands in the South China Sea by China on Feb 18 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US State Department said on Friday that China's activities building on reclaimed land in the South China Sea do not contribute to peace in the region, regardless of how the facilities are used.

China has said the United States and other countries would be welcome to use civilian facilities it is building for search and rescue and other purposes.

State spokesman Jeff Rathke said the US position is that this activity does not add to regional stability.