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China's colonel says Beijing will defend the territory of the South China Sea

A senior Chinese military colonel admits there is the possibility of "miscalculation" in the South China Sea, but defended China's "need" to protect what Beijing considers its territory.

Zhou Bo, a senior The People's Liberation Army (PLA) colonel said that "China needs the necessary defense of these islands and rocks that we believe are Chinese territory."

"We do not think they are artificial islands," he told CNBC's Sri Jegarajah on Sunday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a three-day security forum in Singapore.

Dispute over the South China Sea

China has set its claims to a massive stretch of the resource-rich South China Sea stretching about 1

,000 miles from its southern shores. The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have also used parts of the waterway – one of the busiest in the world.

At the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, the US and China have been arguing over a series of issues of territory in the South China Sea to the ongoing trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. The annual event has become a diplomatic battleground between the two economic powers in recent years as they struggle for geopolitical influence.

During the summit, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the US no longer tiptoes Chinese behavior in Asia. Washington has repeatedly warned Beijing against the militarization of artificial features in the disputed waters.

But Zhou defended China by saying, "If they are just artificial islands built out of blue, then why have they long had Chinese names? We have these rocks and islands in them Unnamed, so right? "

Zhou said that ships from both sides are sometimes dangerously close and recognized:" Of course, there is a risk of miscalculation. "

He added, however that "it is nonetheless the good wish of both sides not to cause accidents, let alone conflict."

Between China and the United States, the point is that both agree to the freedom of shipping, but to do so Do not agree on what this means, "Zhou said.

Unjust to" beat up "Huawei

Zhou said he did not believe in the Chinese telecommunications giant was a security threat to the US A

"We find it really unfair for the United States to beat such a Chinese company with so much weight and volume," Zhou said.

" First of all, it's just a commercial company, as a CEO said, if you like China's Huawei product, buy it, if you like Apple, buy it, so it's just one normal product, "he said.

"And despite all the inquiries or interest in Huawei's back-door problem, no one has come up with such a problem, I think just leave it to the market and the experts." ,

Regarding the arguments that Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has military connections, Zhou said that this argument was unjustified Ren was a former serving officer of the Chinese Army.

"Ren Zhengfei is just one of more than a million people who have withdrawn from the PLA and had to look for another job. But when he retired from the PLA, he was not as high-ranking – not as high-ranking as me -. So he has to find a job, "Zhou said.

Observe: Why the US Believes Huawei Has Been a National Security Threat for Years [1965-90]
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