By Ben Blanchard. China’s Foreign Ministry has called in a senior U.S. diplomat to protest against remarks by the U.S. State Department raising concerns over tensions in the contested South China Sea, further intensifying an already fraught territorial dispute.
In a statement released late on Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng summoned the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Wang to make “serious representations” about the issue.
The State Department on Friday said it was monitoring the situation in the seas closely, adding that China’s establishment of a military garrison for the area runs “counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region”.
The South China Sea has become Asia’s biggest potential military flashpoint. Beijing’s sovereignty claim over the huge area has set it against Vietnam and the Philippines as the three countries race to tap possibly huge oil reserves.
Beijing and Washington are already at odds over numerous matters, including the value of China’s currency, Tibet and Taiwan. Read more from this story HERE.
China tell US to “Shut-up”
By Chris Buckley. China’s state-run media ramped up condemnation of the United States on Monday over tensions in the South China Sea, with the Communist Party’s top newspaper telling Washington to “Shut up” and charging it with “fanning flames” of division in the region.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s over the weekend condemned a U.S. State Department statement that said Washington was closely monitoring territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and that China’s establishment of a military garrison for the area risks “further escalating tensions in the region”.
The mosaic of rival territorial claims in the South China Sea has become Asia’s worst potential military flashpoint.
Beijing has said its disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other southeast Asian claimants should be settled one-on-one, and it has bristled at U.S. backing for a multilateral approach to solving the overlapping claims.
“We are entirely entitled to shout at the United States, ‘Shut up’. How can meddling by other countries be tolerated in matters that are within the scope of Chinese sovereignty?,” said a commentary in the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, an offshoot of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s top newspaper. Read more from this story HERE.