China warns against stoking tensions in 'stable' South China Sea
Iran Press TV
Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:37PM
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned certain extra-regional countries against stirring tensions which could threaten the "relatively stable" situation in the disputed South China Sea.
'Some countries outside of the region are concerned about this region and we totally understand that, but I think these states need to support attempts to keep this region stable rather than just aggravating tensions or playing countries off against each other,' Wang said during a visit to the German capital, Berlin, on Saturday.
The comments came shortly after the Chinese government filed a formal complaint with the US embassy in Beijing, accusing the US military of inciting tensions in the region.
On December 10, a US B-52 bomber flew over the Nansha Islands, a disputed group of hundreds of reefs, islets, atolls, and islands in the South China Sea. The islands are known as Spratly by Beijing's rivals.
China says the bomber flew within two nautical miles of one of the islands in the region and has warned Washington against repeating similar activities.
Pentagon officials say they are investigating the matter. A senior US defense official has blamed bad weather for the pilot flying off course and into area claimed by China.
Two American B-52 bombers also flew near the area last month.
China has claimed sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, which serves as a crossing for more than USD 5 trillion worth of maritime trade annually.
Washington, however, accuses Beijing of carrying out what it calls a land reclamation program by building artificial islands in the sea near the Islands.
Other countries, including Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, have also staked claims to parts of the region.
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