Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2019

South China Sea: Conflict tensions rise as China hits back at US for rising escalations | World | News

China has implemented its controversial “nine-dash line” policy which has laid claim to several territorial waters in the area. As a result of that policy, China has had fraught relations with the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Despite those incredibly tense relations, China had accused the US of carrying out “coercive interference”.

Following a Chinese surveillance vessel extending its operations near the Vietnamese coast, the US had expressed concerns over its presence in the region.

The Pentagon insisted that China had “resumed its coercive interference in Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities in the South China Sea”.

However, hitting back at the US, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the US of making “thoughtless remarks”.

Mr Shuang said: “China urges the United States to stop this kind of malicious ‘hyping up’ behaviour, and play a positive and constructive role in regional and international matters.”

A close ally of the US, Vietnam has demanded that Beijing remove the vessel from its waters.

In response to China’s actions in the region, US State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus said: “China’s actions undermine regional peace and security and impose economic costs on Southeast Asian states by blocking their access to an estimated $2.5trillion (£2trillion) in unexploited hydrocarbon resources.

“US companies are world leaders in the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbon resources, including offshore and in the South China Sea.

“The United States therefore strongly opposes any efforts by China to threaten or coerce partner countries into withholding cooperation with non-Chinese firms, or otherwise harassing their cooperative activities.”

More to follow…

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