Government backed Chinese media criticized US today, over raising tensions in the South China Sea. With the Communist Party’s top newspaper going as far as telling Washington to “Shut up”, and charging it with “fanning flames” of division in the region. An overseas section in Chinese newspaper, People’s Daily read “We are entirely entitled to shout at the United States, ‘Shut up’. How can meddling by other countries be tolerated in matters that are within the scope of Chinese sovereignty?,” The domestic edition of the same read “Fanning the flames and provoking division, deliberately creating antagonism with China, is not a new game, but of late Washington has been itching to use this trick.”
This was a follow up, when over the weekend the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over the statement from U.S. State Department, which said, “China’s establishment of a military garrison for the area, risks further escalating tensions in the region”. On Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry told that it summoned Robert Wang, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. embassy in Beijing, to make “serious representations” about the issue.
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The territorial claims in the South China Sea have become the Asia’s worst potential military flashpoint of late. Beijing condemns US multilateral approach of solving the overlapping claims, and asserts to solve the disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, and other Southeast Asian claimants on one to one basis. The core issue here is that China claims almost all of the sea, which is unacceptable to Vietnam and the Philippines. Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia also lay claim to parts of the sea. The fuss is mainly due to the economic value of the sea which contains valuable energy reserves and fisheries, and half the world’s shipping tonnage, around $5 trillion of cargo, pass through sea annually.
Last week, People’s Daily has put the claims by China in South China Sea in similar regards to claims of indisputable sovereignty over Tibet and Xinjiang in its west.
“While the likelihood of major conflict remains low, all of the trends are in the wrong direction, and prospects of resolution are diminishing,” the International Crisis Group warned in a recent report on the six-party dispute.
In one of the recent moves by China in the sea, it offered oil and gas exploration blocks for bidding, and establishing a new city, Sansha, which is expected to have few thousand residents and 5 square miles of land, spread over several tiny islands