South China Sea: China orders Trump to 'stop interfering' as it warns US 'escalating' row

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South China Sea: China orders Trump to 'stop interfering' as it warns US 'escalating' row

The South China Sea has long been at the centre of an international dispute between China and US allies in Southeast Asia that reject Beijing's cla

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The South China Sea has long been at the centre of an international dispute between China and US allies in Southeast Asia that reject Beijing’s claims of sovereingty over the region. With analysts warning of a potential military confrontation between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin demanded Washington stop “ratcheting” tensions and stop interfering with Beijing’s interests. In a press conference on Wednesday evening, Mr Wang said: “Pompeo claimed to act in accordance with international law but everyone knows the US is used to seeking its own interests in the name of what it calls safeguarding international law.

“In fact, it is not China but the US which is escalating militarisation of the South China Sea and ratcheting of tensions.

“Public reports show that in the first half of the year, US military aircraft have been sighted more than 2,000 times over the South China Sea.

“The US has also encouraged its allies to send warships to these waters as well. We want to tell Pompeo the South China Sea is not America’s Hawaii.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week announced the US would end its policy of neutrality on the South China Sea to show its support to its allies in Southeast Asia.

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Secretary Pompeo this week travelled to Canberra where he secured the support of the Australian Government to ramp up defence capabilities against China.

But Mr Wang urged both the US and Australia to end their “interference” to focus on fostering strong bilateral relations with Beijing.

He continued: “The US and Australia keep talking about the so-called China threat.

“They are also defaming and smearing China over a range of issues. We express our strong dissatisfaction and strong opposition to this.

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But Sen Molan argued China’s actions are strengthening the possibility of an international alliance emerging to rein in Beijing.

He said: “What this is doing is turning so many of the neighbours – Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei – many of the Southeast Asian nations, the alliance nations that we have – the Japanese, the Americans – into a de facto alliance.

I think that is going to be the long-term answer to our problem.

“We can keep on building up individual capabilities, it’s going to cost us a fortune.

“But one day China will wake up to the fact it can’t take us all on.”



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