China test flight within sovereignty

China says a test flight to a newly-built airfield on a South China Sea reef is a matter completely within the country’s sovereignty.

The remarks are in response to reported objections of Vietnam’s foreign ministry.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Saturday said China has finished building an airfield on Yongshu Jiao of China’s Nansha Islands.

The Chinese government used a civil aircraft to conduct the flight in order to test whether the airfield facilities meet civil aviation standards.

Hua said China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China will not accept the unfounded accusation from the Vietnamese side.

The spokeswoman said at present, the relations between China and Vietnam maintain a momentum of development. China hopes Vietnam can work accordingly to achieve “sustainable, healthy and stable” development of bilateral ties.

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