• Melo Acuna

Pompeo's remarks distort facts and International law says Chinese Embassy spokesperson

United States attempts to sow discord between China and other coastal countries

MANILA – The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. downplayed claims by the US Department of State on matters within the South China Sea.

In a statement released after Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called China’s claims in the South China Sea as unlawful, the Embassy spokesperson said the top American official disregards efforts of China and ASEAN countries to maintain peace and stability in the region. The statement “deliberately distorts the facts and international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).” The spokesperson said the American statement “exaggerates the situation in the region and attempts to sow discord between China and other coastal countries.

“The accusation is completely unjustified. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it,” the media statement revealed.

The spokesperson said China’s position on the South China Sea issue has been consistent and clear-cut. He admitted while they firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests the country is committed to resolving disputes through negotiation and consultation with countries directly involved as they manage differences through rules and mechanisms, and achieving win-win results through mutually beneficial cooperation.

In the same statement, the spokesperson said South China Sea has remained peaceful and stable and is still improving.

“China and other littoral countries have maintained dialogue and communication through consultation mechanisms on maritime affairs and worked to promote cooperation over the South China Sea,” the spokesperson added. Relations between China and other Southeast Asian countries have been anchored on full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of parties in the South China Sea, China and ASEAN countries are still advancing the consultation on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea where visible progress has been noted.

The Embassy spokesperson said the United States is not a country directly involved in the disputes but has kept interfering in the issue.

“Under the pretext of preserving stability, it is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region. Under the pret3ext of endorsing rules, it is using UNCLOS to attack China while refusing to ratify the Convention itself. Under the pretext of upholding freedom of navigation and overflight, it is recklessly infringing on other countries’ territorial sea and airspace and throwing its weight around in every sea of the world,” the spokesperson explained.

He called on the United States of honor its commitment of not taking sides on the issue of territorial sovereignty and respect regional countries’ efforts for a peaceful and stable South China Sea and “stop its attempts to disrupt and sabotage regional peace and stability.” (Melo M. Acuña)

Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. (Chinese Embassy photo)

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