US the peace destroyer, South China Sea troublemaker: Chinese FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/14 17:43:40

The guided-missile frigate Hengyang (Hull 568) and the guided-missile destroyer Wuhan (Hull 169) attached to a destroyer flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steam alongside with each other during a maritime maneuver operation in waters of the South China Sea on June 18, 2020. ( by Li Wei)

China has never sought to establish a "maritime empire" in the South China Sea, and has always treated its neighbors in the region equally and exercised maximum restraint in safeguarding its sovereignty, rights and interests in the region, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, following the US State Department's statement on South China Sea. 

The US statement ignored the historical background and facts of the South China Sea issue, violated its government's commitment to not taking a position on the South China Sea sovereignty issue, deliberately stirred up territorial and maritime disputes and undermined regional peace and stability, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Tuesday's media briefing. 

Zhao said that the US is the destroyer and troublemaker of peace and stability in the region, which the international community has clearly seen. 

The US refused to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, frequently sending large scale military vessels to militarize the South China Sea, Zhao said. 

In a statement released on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that most of China's maritime claims in the South China Sea are "completely unlawful," and he accused China of "bullying" Southeast Asian countries.

"The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire," Pompeo said in the statement.

Pompeo said that China officially declared the dotted line in the South China Sea in 2009, which was totally untrue. China has exercised effective jurisdiction over the relevant islands and waters in the South China Sea for thousands of years, Zhao said. 

China published the dotted line in 1948, which was not questioned by any country for a long time, Zhao said. 

As for the decision of the arbitral tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the tribunal overstepped its authority and made obvious mistakes in the identification of facts and application of law, and many countries raised questions about it, Zhao said. 

The US' hyping of the case served its own political purposes and was an abuse of the international law of the sea, which China will never accept, Zhao added.

We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the wrong actions of the US side, Zhao said.

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