Chinese ambassador warns US against escalating situation in S China Sea

Updated: 2015-05-30 17:10


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WASHINGTON -- Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai warned Friday that the US overreaction to China's moves in the South China Sea is escalating the situation and will make the region "less stable."

In an interview with Adam Horvath, world editor of the Wall Street Journal, which was published online, Cui said it was "very surprising to us that the US has overreacted to the situation and is escalating the situation."

He cited recent flight of US military reconnaissance planes in the South China Sea with reporters onboard, which he called "clearly an attempt to provoke and escalate the situation."

"And the US is also making a lot of statements, making false accusations against China and taking sides in the territorial disputes in the region. That will really make the situation in the region less stable. So we are worried about such overreaction from the United States," he said.

He noted that China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is only on the islands and reefs under its sovereignty, and the facilities being built are mainly for civilian purposes.

Cui dismissed the US excuse of protecting freedom of navigation for its actions on the South China Sea issue. "I think the fact is we are more concerned than anybody else about the safety and freedom of navigation in the region, because China is one of the major trading countries in the world. We have such a huge volume of imports and exports going through the South China Sea," he said.

"If somebody really wants to see escalation of the tension in the region, then that could be made as excuses for advancing their military deployment, for setting up cold-war type alliances there, and setting up new missile defense systems," he said.

The Chinese envoy said the US actions, including sending an increasing number of military ships and airplanes for close-in reconnaissance activities so close to China, have raised a lot of questions in China.

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