Wang Yi, Foreign Minister for China has said that the South China Sea is one of the world's freest and safest shipping lanes, with Beijing’s control of the lane justified because it was the first to discover it, according to Reuters.
Wang said: “In fact, based on the joint efforts of China and other regional countries, the South China Sea is currently one of the safest and freest shipping lanes in the world.
“China was the earliest to explore, name, develop and administer various South China Sea islands. Our ancestors worked diligently here for generations.
“History will prove who the visitor is and who the genuine host is.”
Countries which include Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have some claims to the South China Sea. However, Beijing claims almost all of it.
It was previously reported that tensions had soared between Beijing and the US as a result of China’s military presence in The South China Sea, and the area is seen as a strategic economic battleground between the world’s two largest economies.