Sunday, August 5, 2012
China calls in US diplomat over South China Sea
Source: Press TVhttp://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/254498.html
China's Foreign Ministry has called in a senior U.S. diplomat to protest remarks by the U.S. State Department raising concerns over tensions in the disputed South China Sea, in the latest political spat between the two countries.
In a statement released late on Saturday, China's Foreign Ministry said Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng summoned the U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Wang to make "serious representations" about the issue.
The State Department on Friday said it was monitoring the situation in the seas closely, adding that China's establishing of a military garrison for the area runs "counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region". Chicago Tribune
The South China Sea has become Asia's biggest potential military flashpoint as Beijing's sovereignty claim over the huge area has set it against Vietnam and the Philippines as the three countries race to tap possibly huge oil reserves. Huffington Post
The stakes have risen in the area as the U.S. military shifts its attention and resources back to Asia, emboldening its long-time ally the Philippines and former foe Vietnam to take a bolder stance against Beijing. AFP
The United States has stressed it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute, despite offering to help boost the Philippines' decrepit military forces. It says freedom of navigation is its main concern about a waterway that carries $5 trillion in trade -- half the world's shipping tonnage. Reuters