China has accused US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien of sparking tension and creating chaos in the region after making critical remarks on the South China Sea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong during his Manila visit.
China’s embassy in Manila called O’Brien’s comments “unreasonable,” saying he “blatantly accused China on no ground, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, deliberately exaggerated regional tensions and attempted to sow discord between China and the Philippines.”
“It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the US,” the embassy added.
Last month, Manila said it would resume oil and gas explorations in the Reed Bank, which is within Philippine territory but is claimed by China.
“They belong to the Philippine people. They don’t belong to some other country that just because they may be bigger than the Philippines they can come to take away and convert the resources of the Philippine people. That’s just wrong,” O’Brien said.
China accuses O’Brien of sparking tension between Beijing and Philippines
China said the United States has no right to intervene in the South China Sea disputes since it did not join the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Philippines and China signed the maritime treaty that defines the coastal and maritime boundaries of states.
China said it “firmly believes” that the “Philippine government and people will stand on the right side of history.”
In a separate teleconference with the media, O’Brien also slammed China for “extinguishing the flame of democracy in Hong Kong” and “attempts to coerce Taiwan.”
“There is only one China in the world. Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are inalienable parts of China,” the Chinese Embassy said. “We firmly oppose these remarks which are full of Cold War mentality and wantonly incite confrontation.”
Vietnam and the Philippines both fired off several diplomatic protests against China in recent months to oppose its aggressive activities in the South China Sea.