China decries U.S. comments on South China Sea as 'not constructive'

BEIJING Sat Feb 8, 2014 10:05pm EST

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing July 7, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing July 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has accused the United States of undermining peace and development in the Asia-Pacific after a senior U.S. official said concern was mounting over China's claims in the South China Sea.

"These actions are not constructive", Hong Lei, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a statement issued late on Saturday.

"We urge the U.S. to hold a rational and fair attitude, so as to have a constructive role in the peace and development of the region, and not the opposite," Lei said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel told a congressional testimony on Wednesday the United States had "growing concerns" that China's maritime claims were an effort to gain creeping control of oceans in the region.

China's claims had "created uncertainty, insecurity and instability", Russel said.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all claim parts of the sea that provides 10 percent of global fish catches and carries $5 trillion in ship-borne trade.

China also railed against what it called "outrageous" comments on Friday by Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who compared the maritime dispute with appeasement of Nazi Germany before World War Two.

China claims about 90 percent of the 3.5 million square km (1.35 million square miles) South China Sea, depicting what it sees as its area on maps with a so-called nine-dash line, looping far out over the sea from south China.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (15)
Zedmarks wrote:
The hypocrisy is strong in this one.

Oh,who am I kidding? Nation’s are hypocritical by nature when it comes to foreign policy. Just wish that the “rule of law” rather than the “rule of one” was dominant in the South China Sea disputes.

Feb 08, 2014 10:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
delta5297 wrote:
The comments by the Chinese government are an attempt to obscure the reality in the South China Sea, where it is China that is bullying and intimidating its neighbors and attempting to expand at their expense. It is China’s actions, not America’s, which are unconstructive and inimical to peace in the region. In fact America and the other western Pacific nations have already shown extreme restraint in the face of China’s provocations, and yet China persists in peddling its conspiracy theories of being “surrounded” by enemies…enemies that it created through its own aggressive actions.

Feb 09, 2014 1:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
umkomazi wrote:
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel told a congressional testimony on Wednesday the United States had “growing concerns” that China’s maritime claims were an effort to gain creeping control of oceans in the region.

Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr unless I am a tad mistaken, the US is several thousand miles away across the Pacific! Ergo the seas in the area are the affairs of the nations IN that area – not the US! What would be the US reaction were China to plonk a base in say Venezuela at the “invitation” of their government a la South Korea???
The US would crap themselves!

Feb 09, 2014 1:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
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