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Satellite photo shows Chinese-controlled North Island, part of the Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea, on September 29, 2017. Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

(reuters_tickers)

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will firmly safeguard freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday at a regional summit in Manila, state news agency Xinhua reported.

"Li said China is the largest country in the South China Sea and a major nation that uses the lanes in the sea, thus China shows more interest in safeguarding peace, stability, and navigation freedom in the South China Sea than any other country in the world," Xinhua said.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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