U.S. rapped by China on Tuesday for its interventions in Asia, as tensions grow between the two powers over territorial disputes in the South China Sea and how to handle increasingly erratic North Korea.
Speaking at the 7th annual Xiangshan regional defence forum in Beijing, Chang Wanquan, it’s Defence Minister, levied thinly veiled criticism at recent U.S. involvement in Asia’s trouble spots. Washington has conducted freedom of navigation operations close to artificial islands Beijing has built in the South China Sea, and has agreed to deploy a missile defence system in South Korea following repeated nuclear and missile tests by Beijing’s ally Pyongyang.
The country says it has rights to almost the entire region, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and Taiwan all have rival claims. In July, an international tribunal said almost all of Beijing’s claims have no legal basis, a decision China attacked as biased and vowed to ignore.
Washington argues that China’s moves pose a challenge to freedom of navigation and has sought to challenge its claims by dispatching military ships and aircraft to the area.
China has also raised concerns over Washington and Seoul’s decision this summer to install a THAAD missile defence system in South Korea in response to growing worries about its northern neighbour’s nuclear programme.
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