China accuses US of provoking "arms race" in disputed sea

Beijing, China - Amid ongoing tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, Beijing has criticized Washington for triggering what it calls an "arms race."

China's foreign ministry sees US military behavior as triggering an "arms race."
China's foreign ministry sees US military behavior as triggering an "arms race."  © Collage: IMAGO/Xinhua/ZUMA Wire

"At present, the biggest security challenge in the South China Sea comes from outside the region," Reuters cited China's vice foreign minister Sun Weidong as saying.

Sunday's comments came as a clear reference to US involvement in the region, mere weeks after the US and Philippines performed joint military drills that including the simulation of the sinking of a Chinese vessel.

Washington's deployment of military resources is, according to the vice foreign minister, "promoting military deployment and actions in the South China Sea, inciting and intensifying maritime disputes and contradictions, and damaging the legitimate rights and interests of coastal countries".

US plans to turn Taiwan Strait into an "unmanned hellscape" if China invades
China US plans to turn Taiwan Strait into an "unmanned hellscape" if China invades

As a result of continuing US deployment, the South China Sea is becoming a "whirlpool of an arms race" that could pose great risks to regional stability, Sun insisted.

China continues to warn against provocations and escalations

The Philippines last week claimed that China's cost guard seized Filipino military supplies.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin previously said that conflict is "not unavoidable."

"Every conversation is not going to be a happy conversation. But it is important that we continue to talk to each other," he added.

"Our goal is to make sure that we don't allow things to spiral out of control unnecessarily."

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/Xinhua/ZUMA Wire

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