United States accused of 'causing turbulence' in South China Sea

2024-03-29 09:46:18China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday that there is "no bigger factor than United States interference in causing turbulence" in the South China Sea.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the ministry spokesman, made the remarks at a news conference in Beijing in response to recent comments and actions by U.S. and Philippine politicians, noting that China "will not allow the Philippines to act willfully".

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China's operations in the South China Sea, and reiterated the U.S. defense commitment to the Philippines.

In addition, the Philippine defense secretary ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to embark on a so-called Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept, while other Philippine officials denounced the Chinese side for obstructing resupply missions to Ren'ai Reef multiple times.

Wu elaborated on China's position on the South China Sea issue between China and the Philippines, expressing opposition to foreign interference, infringement and provocation, and advocating managing differences properly.

"Meanwhile, we are fully prepared for any emergency, and will resolutely safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," he said.

Wu accused the U.S. of being the biggest promoter of instability in the region.

"For some time, in disregard of the facts, the U.S. provoked confrontation, backed up the Philippines, threatened and exerted pressure on China citing the so-called bilateral treaty, and sent military vessels to the South China Sea to stir up troubles," he said.

These actions have seriously undermined regional peace and stability, Wu said.

"China's attitude toward this is clear: The U.S. is in no position to interfere and the U.S.-Philippines military cooperation must not harm China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," he said.

The Philippines' harassment and provocations are the immediate cause of the recent escalation of the South China Sea issue, Wu said.

He said that counting on the support of external forces, the Philippine side violated international law and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea by frequently infringing upon China's sovereignty, making provocations and creating troubles.

"It has spread misinformation to mislead the international community, and is straying further down a dangerous path," Wu said, stressing that the Chinese side "will not allow the Philippines to act willfully" and has responded with legitimate, resolute and restrained actions.

"The Philippine side should realize that provocations will only do themselves more harm than good, and soliciting foreign support will lead nowhere," he said.

The Chinese side has sufficient strategic resolve in addressing the South China Sea issue, he said.

"We stay committed to properly managing maritime differences with relevant parties through dialogue and consultation, while firmly safeguarding China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," Wu said.

"We have every reason to believe that with concerted efforts of regional countries, the South China Sea issue will surely be settled. This is the inevitable trend of our times."

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