On Tuesday, a top diplomat from the Chinese government, State Councilor Wang Yi urged Asian countries to be “vigilant” over the risk of U.S. strategy stirring geopolitical competition in the South China Sea and several parts of the region.
Wang said during a joint news conference with Malaysia’s foreign minister that Beijing along with members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should join hands and work together to eradicate “external disruption” in the South China Sea.
“We (China and Malaysia) are both of the views that the South China Sea should not be a ground for major power wrestling teeming with warships,” said Wang, who is on a short tour of Southeast Asia.
“China and ASEAN have full capacity and wisdom, as well as responsibility to maintain peace and tranquility in (the) South China Sea.”
Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister stated that refutes over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully with the help of regional dialogue.
The U.S. wants “Free and Open” Asia
China has been in persistent maritime disputes for years with other coastal states in the South China Sea. In recent months the nation has held several military exercises in disputed parts of the strategic waterway. At the same time, Washington has blamed China for trying to build a “maritime empire” in the area.
Wang explained Washington’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, which focuses on cast the United States as a trustworthy partner in the region, as a “security risk” for East Asia.
“What it pursues is to trumpet the old-fashioned cold war mentality and start-up confrontation among different groups and blocks, and stoke geopolitical competition,” he said.
“I believe all parties see this clearly and will stay vigilant against it.”
Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State has previously stated that Washington wants a “free and open” Asia and not being controlled by any one country.
During Tuesday’s joint briefing, Malaysia’s Hishammuddin stated that China had promised to purchase 1.7 million tons of palm oil until 2023 and had pledged to promote amplified shipments of sustainably generated Malaysian palm oil.
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