Q: It is reported that the US Navy is sending its Carl Vinson carrier strike group to the South China Sea for freedom of navigation operations. The strike group is likely to sail into waters around China's islands and reefs in the South China Sea. How do you respond to that?
A: We have seen the relevant media reports. China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters. China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country's attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight. Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is getting steady and moving in a positive direction. We hope that countries outside the region will respect efforts made by China and ASEAN countries, and join the endeavour to sustain the positive momentum. We also urge the US to refrain from challenging China's sovereignty and security and to respect regional countries' efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.