June 16, 2015 / 6:29 PM / in 2 years

China's South China Sea plans will not ease tensions - U.S. State Department

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is aware that China intends to complete some reclamation work in the South China Sea in coming days, but U.S. officials are concerned about its plans for further construction work, including for military defense, the State Department said on Tuesday.

"China's stated plans do not contribute to a reduction in tensions, support the emergence of diplomatic and peaceful solutions, or bolster China's disputed maritime claims," a State Department spokesperson said.

China said earlier on Tuesday it will soon complete some of its land reclamation on the Spratly islands in the disputed South China Sea, indicating that Beijing is close to setting up new outposts in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Emily Stephenson

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