White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says resolution to disputes in the South China Sea should not be resolved by ''might'' after China defends its right to military installations in the region. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The White House on Thursday urged China to resolve disputes in the South China sea through diplomatic channels after a recent flare-up in tensions after China reaffirmed its right to build military installations in the region. Earlier, China defended its right to put "necessary military installations" on artificial islands in the South China Sea, after a U.S. think-tank said Beijing appeared to have deployed weapons such as anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems. "It is our view that competing claims should be resolved not by might or military action, but rather through diplomacy and negotiation," Earnest told reporters at the White House. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said its findings, made available first to Reuters on Wednesday, were based on analysis of satellite images of islands in the strategic trade route, where territory is claimed by several countries. The United States has previously criticized what it called China's militarization of its maritime outposts, and stressed the need for freedom of navigation by conducting periodic air and naval patrols near them that have angered Beijing.