China urges US to stop using South China Sea dispute to ‘stir up troubles’
MANILA, Philippines — China urged the United States (US) to stop using the South China Sea dispute to “stir up troubles.”
The Chinese Embassy made the remark on Tuesday evening after the US expressed support for the Philippines amid the reported swarming of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.
For Beijing, the Philippines and China can handle the row through “friendly consultation.”
“China’s stand on the South China Sea issue is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese and Philippine peoples have the will and capability to properly handle maritime disputes through friendly consultation, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the embassy said in a statement.
“We urge the US to stop using the South China Sea issue to stir up troubles, sow discord between China and the Philippines and undermine stability in the South China Sea,” it added.
According to the embassy, concerned parties managed to maintain overall stability in the contested area over the past few years.
Noting that it is “natural” for neighbors to have differences, the embassy said that the Philippines and China agreed to discuss the issue “at a proper place in the bilateral relations and manage them properly through dialogue and consultation.”
The US, the Chinese embassy said, just wants to serve its “own geopolitical interests.”
“The US keeps meddling in the South China Sea disputes and trying to drive wedges between countries in the region, creating tensions and harming regional peace and stability. What the US has done is not to help anyone but to serve its own geopolitical interests,” the embassy said.
The US, in a statement on Tuesday morning, stood in solidarity of the Philippines’ calls upon China to respect the international law of the sea in the South China Sea.
The Department of National Defense has expressed concern over the “swarming” of Chinese vessels at the Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
Aside from the Philippines and China, other claimants in the South China Sea are Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei.
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