China asks US to be cautious on South China Sea
Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) China on Tuesday asked the US to watch its words and actions on the disputed South China Sea after Washington said it won’t allow Beijing to take over the energy-rich waters.
“The US is not a claimant in the related disputes in the South China Sea,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.
“We urge the US side to respect the reality, to be cautious in its remarks and actions, so as to avoid undermining the peace and stability in the region,” said Hua.
Hua’s remarks followed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying that the US would stop Beijing in taking over the international waters in the South China Sea.
According to The Guardian, Spice said the US would “make sure that we protect our interests”.
Tensions have risen between China and the US over the world’s busiest commercial sea route, after new American President Donald Trump openly challenged Beijing’s sovereignty over waters — a stance avoided by his predecessor Barack Obama.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would block China’s access to the islands in the South China Sea, infuriating Beijing.
Trade worth $5 trillion passes through the South China Sea every year.
South China Sea has become the world’s most contested region, with China and five other littoral states laying claims to it.
The zone has become highly militarised with claimant countries installing weapons on the islands claimed by them.
Of all, Beijing claims almost the entire body even though the claims were rejected by an international court last year.