US seeks selfish gains under pretext of international law: China to Pompeo

Topics US China | Mike Pompeo | USA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Source: @SecretaryPompeo)

Hitting out at US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, China on Tuesday said the US always seeks selfish gains under the pretext of upholding international law.

Replying to a question about Pompeo's tweet, wherein, he had said that the South China Sea is not China's maritime empire, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China's policy on the South China Sea remains constant.

According to a transcript of the press conference available on the website of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang said: "Pompeo surely talked a lot about international law, but as is known to all, the US always seeks selfish gains under the pretext of upholding international law. Its all-time principle is to apply international law in a selective and utilitarian way."

"The US, having withdrawn from over 10 international treaties and organizations, is indeed the world's number one quitter," he said.

The fact is, he said, the country that is militarizing and stoking tensions in the South China Sea is the US, not China.

"According to media reports, in the first half of this year, US military aircraft carried out over 2,000 missions in the South China Sea. Since July 15, US military aircraft have conducted close-range reconnaissance in the South China Sea for 12 consecutive days," he said.

"Recently the US also sent two aircraft carriers to these waters while calling on its allies and partners to send warships and join it in making waves in the South China Sea. This is bad news for regional peace and stability and doesn't serve the interests of littoral countries in the region. The US must unmask its hidden agenda," added Wang.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said US aims to drive a wedge between China and ASEAN countries and stir up trouble so it has one more card to play to contain China.

"We must tell Pompeo that the South China Sea is not Hawaii; the regional countries and all peace-loving people won't stand by if several US politicians attempt to muddy the waters," he said.

In one of the strongest attack by the United States on Beijing's illegal territorial claims in the SCS, State Secretary Mike Pompeo had on Saturday stressed that Washington's policy in the region is crystal clear and said that the disputed territory in the South China Sea (SCS) is "not China's maritime empire".

"The United States' policy is crystal clear: The South China Sea is not China's maritime empire. If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will simply take more territory. China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law," Pompeo said in a tweet.

The South China Sea is grouped into three archipelagos. China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its sovereign territory and it has aggressively asserted its stake in recent years.

This comes weeks after the United States officially dismissed China's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea and termed Beijing's campaign of bullying to control them as "completely unlawful."

Earlier on July 13, Pompeo had issued a statement on the US position on Maritime claims in the South China Sea, saying that the Chinese government has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region.

Washington announced that it is aligning the US position on the Chinese government's claims in the South China sea with the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal's decision.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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