US compares China's policy in South China Sea to Russia's in Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:22PM
The United States has accused China of "unilaterally and coercively" pursuing territory in the South China Sea, comparing its policy to that of Russia in eastern Ukraine.
The US State Department's number two diplomat on Friday called China's large-scale construction projects in the South China Sea 'a threat to peace and stability.'
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington had a strong interest in how competing claims in the disputed sea were pursued, and in preserving freedom of navigation.
'In both eastern Ukraine and the South China Sea, we're witnessing efforts to unilaterally and coercively change the status quo; transgressions that the United States and our allies stand united against,' Blinken said in a speech at the Center for a New American Security think tank.
'The way forward is for China, and all claimants, to freeze their reclamation activities and resolve their difference in accordance the rule of law,' he said.
Beijing claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
There are also disputes between China, Japan, and South Korea over the East China Sea.
Tensions between the Washington and Beijing are growing over its island-building in the disputed waters and over suspicions that Chinese-based hackers were behind a massive cyber attack against a federal government server that resulted in the theft of sensitive data from millions of US employees and contractors.
On Thursday, the Director of National Intelligence chief James Clapper said China was the top suspect in the cyber attacks on the Office of Personnel Management.
It was the first time the Obama administration has publicly accused Beijing of the hacking, but Clapper said the attacks were still under investigation. The Chinese Foreign Ministry described the accusations as 'absurd logic.'
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