China blasted Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Monday for his aggressive remarks on the South China Sea and said it’s not interested in starring in a Hollywood-esque Cold War film written by U.S. officials.
According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, the U.S. is claiming China is creating a “Great Wall of self-isolation” to justify deploying additional forces to the region, The Associated Press reports. In other words, Chunying thinks the U.S. is just looking for an excuse—any excuse—to threaten China.
“China has no interest in any form of Cold War, nor are we interested in playing a role in a Hollywood movie written and directed by certain U.S. military officials,” Chunying said. “However, China has no fear of and will counter any actions that threaten and undermine China’s sovereignty and security.”
Chunying was responding to Carter’s Friday remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy, in which he said it was not possible for the U.S. to separate the issues of the South China Sea and its “broader relationship” with China. For the U.S., the two issues are inextricable.
“China’s actions there challenge fundamental principles, and we can’t look the other way,” Carter said.
While the U.S. does not take a position on competing claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea, it is interested in maintaining freedom of navigation in a region responsible for over $5 trillion dollars in annual trade that’s home to oil and gas. And yet, the Obama administration has lifted the arms ban on Vietnam, a communist country that has claims in the South China Sea.
Interestingly, China did not oppose the move and instead applauded the U.S. for shedding a ban that was a product of the Cold War.
“(The) arms sales ban was a product of the Cold War and should no longer exist,” Chunying said recently, according to CNN. “We hope the lifting of all such bans will benefit regional peace and development. And we are happy to see the United States and Vietnam develop normal cooperative relations.”
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