China’s state-run media on Saturday accused the United States of “repeatedly violating its pledge of remaining neutral” in the South China Sea dispute.
“It has never missed an opportunity to highlight the ‘China threat’ theory while commenting on the disputes, and has been trying to pit other countries against China,” an opinion piece from the Xinhua News Agency and posted on the website of China Daily read.
The Xinhua News Agency is China’s official press agency. Its president is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
China Daily meanwhile is an English language newspaper published in Beijing and targets an international audience including foreign diplomats. It translates major Chinese newspaper articles in its editorials.
The article moreover warned Southeast Asian countries to be wary of the US and “realize that it has ulterior motives for repeatedly poking its nose into the issue”.
“It is in the best interests of all parties involved in the South China Sea issue to find a peaceful solution on their own, instead of being dictated to by an outside power that could easily escape unscathed, even if it does not take advantage, should the disputes escalate into conflicts,” the article read.
The article, while written in reaction to an earlier statement attributed to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, came a day after US President Barack Obama warned that China should not “elbow aside” smaller countries like the Philippine and Vietnam in its conflict over territories in the South China Sea.
The US president was answering a question in a town hall meeting in Jamaica about China’s reclamation work in areas it occupied within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
“The United States is making such moves because it wrongly assumes that China, now a global economic heavyweight, could seek to undermine its supremacy in global politics and its overwhelming military presence in many regions,” the Xinhua piece read.
Carter, in his recent visit to Japan, had said he was “especially concerned” over China’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said Manila “will continue to work with ASEAN and other responsible members of the international community to address unilateral aggressive actions that directly challenge the rule of law, create tensions, and pose risks to the peace and stability of the region”.
Asean refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations where member-countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines also have overlapping claims in the South China Sea which Manila refers to as the West Philippine Sea.
“Developments in the South China Sea concern not only the claimant states and the region, but also the international community. All should contribute to efforts to establish a regional architecture based on the rule of law,” the DFA said in a statement.
The Xinhua article said “China has honored its commitment to peaceful development and has not competed with other countries, including the US, to spread its influence”.
“The US, with its unrivaled political clout and military prowess, is paranoid about China, perhaps because it suffers from an underlying sense of nostalgia for global dominance.
“Moreover, despite geographically being an outsider, the US has intensified its interference in the South China Sea disputes. Its obsession with China-bashing aside, the US’ meddling in the disputes shows that the so-called “Anchor of Peace” is in fact stirring up the waters and fishing for trouble,” it said.