Beijing (Reuters) – China and the United States are engaged in a sharp verbal exchange of words in the dispute over raw material deposits in the South China Sea.
The State Department in Beijing named the United States on Tuesday a troublemaker that is undermining peace and stability in the region. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the People’s Republic had never sought to build an empire in the South China Sea. In doing so, he rejected corresponding allegations by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The latter had emphasized that the United States would not allow China to treat the area as its maritime area. “We make it clear: Beijing’s claim to marine resources in most of the South China Sea is completely illegal,” said Pompeo. The People’s Republic occupies 90 percent of the territory, but other countries such as Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines also claim some of it.