China slams remarks from US and Japan

China has overlapping claims with four Asean states in the South China Sea and is in a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea.
China has overlapping claims with four Asean states in the South China Sea and is in a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea. PHOTO: REUTERS

China has slammed what it called "irresponsible remarks" by the US and Japanese defence chiefs about maritime disputes in the region.

Accusing them of having "ulterior motives", Foreign Ministry spokes- man Hua Chunying yesterday said China has made efforts to reduce tensions in the South China Sea.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis said in a speech at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue last Saturday that the US cannot accept China's unilateral changes to the status quo through its militarisation of artificial islands in the strategic waterway.

Japan's Defence Minister Tomomi Inada that same day accused China of "unprovoked and unilateral attempts to change the status quo… incompatible with international law" in the East and South China Seas.

China has overlapping claims with four Asean states in the South China Sea and is in a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea.

Ms Hua defended China placing "defence facilities" on South China Sea islands, saying this is within its sovereign rights and has nothing to do with militarisation. She said certain "outside countries" are bent on going against the trend, repeatedly make "erroneous remarks", "ignore facts, confuse truth and falsehood and have ulterior motives".

Goh Sui Noi

 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'China slams remarks from US and Japan'. Print Edition | Subscribe