BEIJING – China's Defence Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of "militarizing" the South China Sea by staging patrols and joint military drills there, ramping up the rhetoric ahead of a key regional security meeting in Malaysia next week.
China has repeatedly urged Washington not to take sides in the escalating maritime dispute over the area, where the Asian giant last year stepped up its creation of artificial islands, alarming neighbors and provoking US criticism.
Washington has demanded China halt land reclamation and militarization of the disputed area and pursue a peaceful resolution according to international law.
China has been angered by US navy and air force forays through waters it claims as its own, especially this month, when US Navy Admiral Scott Swift said he joined a routine surveillance flight.
The United States has also stepped up military contacts, including drills, with regional allies such as the Philippines, which also has claims in the South China Sea.
The United States was hyping up the "China threat" and attempting to sow discord between China and other claimant countries, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news briefing.
"China is extremely concerned at the United States' pushing of the militarization of the South China Sea region," he said.
"What they are doing can't help but make people wonder whether they want nothing better than chaos."
For a long time, the United States had carried out frequent, widespread, close-in surveillance of China, by sending ships and aircraft to the region, he added.
"Recently they have further increased military alliances and their military presence, frequently holding joint drills."
But if certain US officials wanted to take civilian flights over the South China Sea to "enjoy its beauty", China had no problem with that, he said.
China's own drills there were a normal part of its routine military exercises and not aimed at any third party, Yang said.
But he expressed concern at reports that Filipino fishermen had found buoys with Chinese markings near the disputed Scarborough Shoal and towed them back to shore northwest of Manila.
"If these reports are correct, then certain people have elbowed their way into somebody else's home, and taken others' possessions."
On Thursday, the head of Philippine military, General Hernando Iriberri, told journalists in Manila it was investigating reports China had reclaimed three more reefs in the South China Sea as well as activities in Scarborough Shoal.
The South China Sea is likely to feature prominently at next week's security meeting in Malaysia, attended by Southeast Asia and Chinese foreign ministers and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Beijing claims most of the South China Sea, but Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and others have overlapping claims. –Reuters
About 92 News HD Live Main TV Channel of Pakistan:
92 News (also known as 92 News HD Plus (Channel 92) is a conservative Urdu language TV channel based in Lahore, Pakistan.
Mian Muhammad Hanif is the chairman of the channel.
This TV channel is a subsidiary of Madinah Group under Galaxy Media Group.
The channel's name, 92, is to celebrate the 1992 Cricket World Cup won by Pakistan. The number 92 is also the telephone country calling code of Pakistan, which is another major reason behind the channel's name.
92 News HD is Pakistan’s first HD Plus News Channel. Aims to bring credible & responsible News & important stories from Pakistan & around the World
We bring you Latest Pakistani and International News at 92 News Hd Plus to Read and Watch
We believe in genuine and true journalism, we do not prevail sensation just for ratings.
We do not hide news but never tend to add any unethical content or angling that goes against the norms of our religion Islam and Pakistan's culture.
تازہ ترین خبریں حاصل کرنے کے لیے فوری اطلاع کی اجازت دیں
آپ کسی بھی وقت دائیں طرف نیچے بیل آئیکن پر صرف ایک کلک کے ذریعے آسانی سے سبسکرائب کر سکتے ہیں۔