BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry expressed its disappointment and anger after the Pentagon’s updated National Military Strategy slammed Chinese claims in the South China Sea as threatening, aggressive and inconsistent with international law.
China has turned out to be progressively emphatic in the South China Sea, building artificial islands in areas where the Philippines and other countries have rival claims, sparking alarm regionally and in Washington.
“China’s activities are adding pressure to the Asia-Pacific region,” released this week in the first update of the strategy since 2011, making particular reference to China’s aggressive land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said “The United States was pushing unfounded misrepresentations. We express disappointment and resistance towards the U.S. side’s report’s unreasonable exaggerations of China’s threat,” she told a daily news briefing.
“We have as of now obviously clarified our position on the issue of development on islands and reefs in the South China Sea several times, and we believe that the U.S. should abandon their Cold War mentality.” Hua added.
China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.