China rejects US accusations it seeks hegemony in Asia

China rejects US accusations it seeks hegemony in Asia

"It's just a fact we had a lot of experience in the Second World War taking down small islands that are isolated, so that's a core competency of the United States military that we've done before".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had vowed on Tuesday that the United States would keep confronting China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea - where Beijing has established a significant military presence on contested islands. According to Beijing, the operation "seriously violated China's sovereignty".

Regarding Vietnam's reaction against China's live-fire drill in Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, Hang stated that from May 9-12, China continued carrying out its live-fire drills in the islands, severely infringing Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelago, and running counter to the agreement on basic principals guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China as well as the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

The U.S. -based Center for Strategic and International Studies last week also discovered that the Philippines had started repairing a runway built in the 1970s on Thitu Island, the largest Philippine-occupied island in the Spratlys.

China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "The United States military presence in the South China Sea is greater than that of China and other countries that surround the seas combined". However, Washington claims such operations are meant to protect "freedom of navigation" in the sea.

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As those islands have become increasingly militarized despite Chinese leader Xi Jinping's pledges to the contrary, the usa has ramped up "freedom of navigation" operations, or FONOPS, to demonstrate rights to the sea under worldwide law.

"This sounds like a case of a thief crying "stop thief" to cover their misdeeds", she said.

Speaking at a separate briefing, Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang also said that no country had the right to "make irresponsible remarks" about China's building of necessary defense facilities on its own territory, referring to the islands of the sea.

"The two sides have been maintaining communication and coordination on the details", he said. He did not provide a date for a possible trip. The United States claims the area is considered global waters, while China asserts its right to the islands and saw the move as a threat. But "no matter how developed China may become, it will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion", she added. "And we're going to continue to do the things that we're doing".

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