a057b6b93334562e660f6a7067006b22Defying a U.S. call to halt the project, China defended its land reclamation in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Monday, saying the work is for public service use, although a London-based security group says the new island could host a military airfield to intimidate neighbors. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the construction on some reefs in the archipelago was to enable Chinese citizens working there to “better perform international obligations in terms of search, rescue and other public services.” More