China Blames U.S. For Revolutions, Illegal Wars Amid South China Sea Spat

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson has condemned the U.S. refusal to recognize its claims in the contested South China Sea, accusing Washington, D.C. of meddling in regional affairs and hypocrisy.

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, posted a multi-tweet attack on the U.S. after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that President Donald Trump's administration now considers almost all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognized waters to be illegitimate.

The Chinese embassy in the U.S. quickly condemned the statement and released its own statement accusing the U.S. of "interfering in the issue" under the pretext of preserving stability. Instead, it claimed, the U.S. is "flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region."

Hua echoed the sentiment on Tuesday, claiming it is the U.S. rather than China that "believes in 'might makes right' & resorts to force & intimidation at every turn. It is the US that has waged color revolutions & illegal wars, displacing millions in Iraq, Libya & Afghanistan. China has never started any war."

China claims most of the South China Sea as its own territorial waters, despite overlapping claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. The area contains rich fishing grounds, key shipping routes and potentially valuable natural resources.

China has embarked on an island-building campaign in the South China Sea to effectively enforce its own claims without a shot being fired. Chinese troops, ships and aircraft are now deployed to expanded shoals and new island bases across the region.

The U.S. regularly conducts aerial and naval "freedom of navigation" operations nearby in international waters, much to the chagrin of Beijing. The U.S. maintains that China does not have sovereignty over the area despite its military deployments there.

The South China Sea is often cited as a potential U.S.-China flashpoint along with the Taiwan Strait to the north.

On Tuesday, Hua accused the U.S. of taking "a predatory world view." She noted that the U.S. is tens of thousands of miles away from the South China Sea, but deployed "advanced military airplanes to the region to flex its military muscles, which caused instability in the South China Sea."

"China, as an independent sovereign state, has the right to refuse bullying and injustice," Hua added. She also accused the U.S. of hypocrisy for accusing Beijing of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, even though Washington, D.C. is yet to ratify the treaty.

China, US, Navy, South China Sea
The Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan transit the South China Sea on July 6, 2020. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Beam/U.S. Navy