Beijing, April 10: Countering External Affairs Minister SM Krishna's assertion that the South China Sea belonged to the world, a Chinese daily has said "territory" of a country can not be denoted as a global property because it amounts to surpassing its sovereign right.
While China has never objected to the freedom of navigation in South China Sea, (SCS), "describing it as a global property is a mistake", state-run Global Times said in an editorial questioning Krishna's comments. "Other countries can't denote one country's territory as global property.
"China claims sovereignty over the disputed area between itself and Vietnam, and according to international law, the rights of freedom of navigation and free trade in the South China Sea cannot surpass the sovereign right of the relevant country", it said.
The editorial came even as the Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday said that navigation in the disputed SCS dotted by numerous uninhabited islands claimed by China, Vietnam and host countries has not been disrupted in anyway by the disputes.
"As for the freedom of navigation on the SCS, I want to point out that such freedom of all countries on the SCS has been fully guaranteed according to international law, which is a fact for all to see", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Liu Weimin had said while reacting to Krishna's comments.