MANILA, Philippines — China is not afraid of United States sanctions in the South China Sea or any brewing storm over Beijing’s actions in the disputed waters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urged the US to reflect on its foreign policies,but recognized the US is still the most developed country with the greatest strength and the only superpower in the world but “wantonly imposes sanctions or threatens to sanction others, which is just pathetic.”
“We hope ‘sanction’ is not going to be the biggest and shiniest label that the US wants itself to be remembered by. It should earnestly reflect on its policies,” Hua said in a press conference.
“Speaking of sanctions, China is not afraid of them. However, as an old Chinese saying goes, ‘a tree wants to enjoy a moment of tranquility but the wind keeps blowing.’ If the US wants to make a storm, then just let the storm rage with greater force!” she said.
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell told the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington that “nothing is off the table… there is room for that,” when he was asked if sanctions were a possible US response to Chinese actions.
Stilwell warned of US sanctions against Chinese officials and enterprises involved in “coercion” in the South China Sea.
The wider world, Stilwell said, is also speaking up and taking action, in recognition that Beijing’s actions pose the greatest threat to freedom of the seas.
Hua said Stilwell’s remarks proved that the US side has been leaving no stone unturned in muddying waters in the South China Sea, driving a wedge between China and regional countries, and undercutting the efforts by China and ASEAN nations to preserve peace and stability in the disputed waters.
“The US has eaten its words on not taking a position on the sovereignty of the South China Sea,” she added.
The large fleets of advanced military vessels and aircraft the US dispatched to the South China Sea, she said, was to flex muscles and stir up trouble.
She also pointed to a US statement aiming to undermine regional countries’ efforts to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, saying it will only further expose its hypocrisy and hegemony to the world.
“The US refuses to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), cannot stop itself from withdrawing from one international treaty and organization after another, and only chooses to comply with international law when the occasion serves its own interests. It has fully revealed its true nature as a hypocrite and bully,” Hua said.
Hua also referred to US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s remarks that the US prefers speaking with strength instead of goodwill, as she questioned the difference between the secretary’s opinion and the “law of the jungle.”
Esper wrote on Twitter on Sunday, “Goodwill and best wishes do not secure freedom. Strength does.”
“If countries rely on nothing but strength, how can the world order be different from the ‘law of the jungle’? Without goodwill, a country with greater strength becomes a greater threat. I believe everyone is well aware now of who is the guardian of peace and anchor of stability, and who is the rabble-rouser and the source of chaos,” Hua said, urging the US not go further down the erroneous path and should behave like a major country and play a constructive role for regional peace and stability.
The State Department’s top diplomat for East Asia raised the case of peaceful arbitration brought with “real courage” by the Philippines and challenged China’s expansive and excessive claims in the South China Sea.
He noted that China tried to delegitimize and ignore the verdict, despite its obligations to abide by it as a party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Pia Lee-Brago The Philippine Star
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR EMAIL
The most important news of the day about the Earth and the Universe.
email us: [email protected]