8.6.15

China-USA tensions

.
.
.
.

US accuses China of fueling tensions in South China Sea

.

By presstv.com

The United States has accused China once again of stoking tensions in the Asia-Pacific region with the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, defending its flights over the region.
.
US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that China’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea have “contributed to rising tensions” and that the US is “carefully” monitoring China’s military developments in the area.
.
“We continue to urge China to exhibit greater transparency with respect to its capabilities and to its intentions,” Rathke said.
.
“We encourage China to use its military capabilities in a manner that is conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
.
The Pentagon also defended its flights over the South China Sea.
.
“All of our flights and all of our ship movements are through international airspace and international waters,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. “This is part of our mission to defend freedom of navigation.”

This photograph shows the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, on May 11, 2015. (AFP Photo)

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama considered the South China Sea security situation "critically important" to US national security and the global economy.
.
“It’s also critical to the global economy that the free flow of commerce in the South China Sea is something that needs to be maintained,” Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
China has been building artificial islands in disputed parts of the South China Sea, drawing criticism from its neighbors including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.
.
In the past month, the US has stepped up surveillance flights over the Chinese construction projects. Last week, the Chinese navy issued warnings to a US surveillance plane flying over the disputed islands.
.
Beijing accuses Washington of meddling in the regional issues and deliberately stirring up tensions in the South China Sea.
.
Observers believe the Obama administration’s policy of rebalancing it military resources to the Asia-Pacific and increasing its presence in the region is aimed at containing China.