China urges US to ‘stop flexing muscles’ in South China Sea
The authorities of the People’s Republic of China urged the US to stop the artificial excitement regarding the South China Sea to resolve the issue at the international level. This was stated by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang at a press conference devoted to the situation on the coast of China. Shuang’s statement was made in response to accusations by the American side that “the PRC has renewed its intervention in Vietnam’s actions in the extraction of oil and gas resources in the South China Sea”.
The representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry emphasized that the US twists the facts and doesn’t pay attention to the real picture of events:
— The truth and false of this incident are understandable. America made many irresponsible statements and remarks that ignore the real facts. They call black as white, and white – black. China strongly doesn’t support such steps by the United States, — said Geng Shuang.
— “The Beijing authorities are doing everything possible to comply with international law and world order. We are introducing our legal rights in the regions, being guided exclusively by the order of the international code, ensuring stability and order in the regions, — added the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Competition over the shores of the South China Sea is not the only issue in relations between China and the US. The US-Chinese trade war also remains relevant.
It’s worth noting that relations between the countries deteriorated in early June 2019, when the US Department of Defense presented an official report “On the Strategy in the Indo-Pacific Region”, in which the People’s Republic of China was featured as the main competitor of the American state. In this document, the Pentagon called the PRC a “revisionist state,” accusing it of hegemony and superiority over other states. US authorities emphasized the need for FONOP (Freedom of Navigation Operations) events as the primary means of defense against invasions.
“A large number of maritime claims that don’t comply with international law threaten to maintain order in the world, the interests of the United States and regional allies and partners,” — the document says.
At the Asian Security Summit, held in Singapore in the summer, the United States received enough support from its allies among which are Great Britain and France. The defense ministers of these countries have confirmed that they are ready to challenge the right of China to claim islands in the waters of the South China Sea.
In response to the US petition, the PRC Ministry of Defense drafted its peremptory statement:
“China doesn’t pose a threat or restrict freedom of passage of ships in the South China Sea, through which more than 100 thousand units of sea transport transit. While the rest of the countries are trying to “boast of their strength”, issues that relate exclusively to the region of the country should be decided locally and not by the efforts of all participants. The objects built on the islands are necessary for self-defense, and the process of militarizing the coast of China is “the legal right of a sovereign state to carry out construction on its own territory”.
It can be assumed that a further increase in tension in the sea zone of China can lead both to a deterioration in relations between America and China, and to the involvement of so-called “players” who don’t represent this region. This could threaten overall security in the Asia-Pacific region.
The presence of US naval ships in the waters of China is the main factor that irritates Beijing. Therefore, all the restrictions that the PRC puts forward are, to a greater extent, related to naval activities, and not to commercial issues.
Contradictions and threats towards China are increasing at a time when other states are taking the side of America and continue to consolidate pressure.
According to experts, the situation of the US-Chinese conflict at sea risks becoming not only a local but a full-scale military confrontation between the two largest countries. This undermines overall security, as it doesn’t lead to a peaceful resolution of tension.