National flags of China (R) and the United States. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan)
BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — The United States has become the biggest driver of the militarization of the South China Sea and the most dangerous factor damaging peace in the area, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.
Wang made the remarks while attending the 10th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via video link. He said that the United States has directly intervened in territorial and maritime disputes in the region out of its own political needs, constantly flaunting its force and strengthening its military deployment. It is becoming the biggest driver of the militarization of the South China Sea.
The United States has interfered with the efforts of China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to resolve disputes through consultation, as well as provoking confrontation between countries in the region. It is becoming the most dangerous factor damaging peace in the South China Sea, said Wang.
“Peace and stability are China’s greatest strategic interest in the South China Sea,” Wang said, adding that it is also the common strategic aspiration of China and ASEAN countries.
“China hopes that countries outside the region, including the United States, will fully respect the wishes and expectations of countries in the region, instead of creating tension and seeking profit from it.” ■