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The South China Sea and the United States

State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made this statement in a video conference with Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin on Tuesday.

The United States would flex its muscles by deploying strong naval forces and fighter planes and continue to disrupt the calm in the South China Sea, Wang said.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that “Beijing’s claims to resources in most parts of the South China Sea are without any legal basis.”

This statement violated the United States ' commitment not to interfere in territorial disputes in the South China Sea and wantonly sowed discord between China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), attempts to trigger conflicts between neighboring states and undermines stability in the Region, Wang said. However, such an approach would only have negative repercussions on the credibility of the US.

China will continue to work with the Philippines and other countries in the Region to clarify maritime issues through dialogue and consultations and to establish a code of Conduct for the South China Sea as soon as possible, Wang said.

“Finding a solution to the issues affecting the South China Sea requires looking forward instead of returning to the past,” Wang told his Philippine counterpart.

Locsin said that bilateral maritime disputes should not affect the friendship between the Philippines and China, and they would not.

The Philippines would like to resolve disputes over the South China Sea through friendly bilateral negotiations and expand maritime cooperation with China.

In response to Pompeo’s remarks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday that Beijing had never envisaged the creation of a “maritime empire” in the South China Sea. He called on Washington to stop all attempts to sabotage peace and stability in the Region.

In his statement, Pompeo said that since “its official announcement in 2009,” Beijing has not provided a conclusive legal basis for its claims against the Philippines in the South China Sea, and that the 2016 arbitration ruling on South China Sea issues is final and binding on the Philippines and China.

The Chinese government has published a map of the islands in the South China Sea from 1948, which lists the border that Beijing intends to draw, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao said at his house’s daily press conference.

This demarcation had not been questioned by any country for a very long time. China’s territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea had a sufficient historical and legal basis and were consistent with international law and current international practice.

He rejected Pompeo’s comments on the arbitration hearing and stated that China would not allow any abuse of the International Code of the sea by the United States building up the arbitration case over the South China Sea in the service of its political plans.