Baku. 10 April. REPORT.AZ/ China has defended its construction of artificial islands in a disputed area of the South China Sea, saying it is needed to safeguard its sovereignty.
Report informs referring to the BBC, İts statement came after US criticism and the online publication of pictures showing the build-up on Mischief Reef.
In recent years, China has been locked in a dispute with several neighbours over claims in the sea.
Other countries have accused China of illegally entrenching its presence through reclamation.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies' website published before-and-after satellite pictures of the construction, showing man-made islands with runways and harbours, and Chinese vessels dredging sand on to the reef, located among the Spratly islands.
The photos came as several US officials publicly voiced concern about China's reclamation works in the sea. The latest was Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who said on Wednesday that China's actions "seriously increase tensions" in the region.