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US rejects China's offer over disputed islands

Chinese Naval Commander Admiral Wu Shengli salutes after making speech in Qingdao on April 20, 2009The United States on Friday swiftly rejected a suggestion by a top Chinese military official who said that disputed South China Sea islands could be used for international rescue and relief operations. Beijing has been roundly criticized by the West for construction work on islands in the South China Sea, including the building of an airstrip and other structures. The Wall Street Journal and other US news organizations, citing a report on the Chinese Defense Ministry website, said Admiral Wu Shengli made the offer to his US counterpart, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, in a video conference.

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