Beijing Calls US Biggest Threat to South China Sea Security as Blinken Accuses PRC of ‘Bullying’

Asia & Pacific

China and other nations with maritime claims in the South China Sea began negotiations on a code of conduct for the region in the early 2000s. In 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton classified the body of water as a matter of “US national interest” and voiced military and diplomatic support for local nations in their claims against Beijing.

A senior Chinese United Nations diplomat has lashed out at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over his claims that Beijing is responsible for the “dangerous” situation in the South China Sea and that the People’s Republic’s maritime claims to the body of water are “unlawful.”

“The United States itself is not qualified to make irresponsible remarks on the issue of the South China Sea,” Dai Bing, China’s deputy ambassador to the UN, said, speaking at a Security Council meeting on maritime security.

Dai argued that “at present, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea remains generally stable,” with all nations enjoying freedom of navigation and overflight rights “in accordance with international law,” and regional states striving to conclude negotiations which began in 2002 on a regionally applicable maritime code of conduct.

The US, meanwhile, was seeking to “stir up trouble” by sending warships and aircraft to the region to engage in provocations and “drive a wedge” between regional…

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