USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110) transits the Philippine Sea on March 30, 2016. US Navy Photo
Jan. 24 (UPI) — China responded immediately to remarks made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer regarding Beijing’s interests in the South China Sea, claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over artificial islands in the region.
During his first official briefing on Monday, Spicer said the United States would defend its interests in the South China Sea, in the international waters where China has been building the islands to take control of shipping routes.
“If those islands are, in fact, in international waters and not part of China proper, yeah, we’ll make sure we defend international interests from being taken over by one country,”
But on Tuesday Beijing’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China preserves freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as well as peace and stability in the area, according to state-owned news agency Xinhua.
China’s position on the South China Sea issue is clear-cut, consistent, and unchanged, Hua said, adding the United States should “speak and act cautiously” on the matter, according to Xinhua.
China warns of ‘war’ after Rex Tillerson’s South China Sea remarks. BEIJING, Jan. 13 (UPI) — China’s state tabloid accused U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state of “rabble rousing” and warned of “war,” after Rex Tillerson condemned Beijing’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea during his Senate confirmation hearing.
The Global Times editorial published Friday called Tillerson’s suggestion to block China’s access to the islands an illegal act that could lead to a major military conflict.
“China has enough determination and strength to make sure that his rabble rousing will not succeed,” the editorial read. “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish.”
On Wednesday, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil likened Beijing’s land reclamation activities to “Russia’s taking of Crimea,” a statement China’s state-owned news site described as “astonishing.”
Panel: Trump’s ‘America First’ Pledge Shocked Japan
The election of Donald Trump as president followed by his “America first” pledge in his inaugural address shocked Japanese political and business leaders, causing them to wonder about the future value of the Washington-Tokyo security and economic alliances.
Toshiro Nakayama, a professor at Keio University, said the Trump presidency throws into question seeing the relationship as “sort of an alliance of co-equals,” as it has developed since the 1990s. It “is not a stand-alone alliance” but applies to the whole region and is based on shared values of democracy, human rights and rule of law.
Several panelists noted values were not mentioned in the inaugural address.
How high is the water now?
The Orange Gazbag is officially in over his head.