(Bloomberg) -- China’s National Defense Ministry said the U.S. should abandon a “Cold War” mindset and view Chinese national security and military efforts “rationally and objectively.”
The instigators of militarization of the South China Sea are “other countries” that don’t seem to want to see peace in the region and are using the banner of “navigational freedom” to undertake military activities in a tyrannical manner, ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said in a statement released late Saturday.
The statement was in response to a U.S. Defense Department strategy report, released last week, that singled out China’s military modernization and expansion in the South China Sea as key threats to U.S. power. China has undertaken massive land reclamation in the contested waterway that hosts $5 trillion in trade a year, to strengthen its claim to more than 80 percent of the area. That has strained ties with other claimant states, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as the U.S.
The National Defence ministry’s statement on Saturday came shortly after China’s Foreign Ministry vowed to take “necessary measures” to safeguard its sovereignty after a U.S. warship entered waters surrounding the Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.
China’s activities in the South China Sea is “a matter within China’s sovereign rights,” Ren said, adding that the country is committed to a path of peaceful development and a harmonious world order.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
With assistance from Rachel Chang