Date: 18 November 2019
China has, during high-level talks, warned the United States to stop “flexing its muscles” in thedisputed South China Sea and fueling tensions over self-ruled Taiwan, two main sources of friction between the two powers.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe made the remarks on Monday during closed-door talks with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on the sidelines of a gathering of defense ministers in the Thai capital, Bangkok, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian.
Wu said the minister urged Washington to “stop flexing muscles in the South China Sea and to not provoke and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.”
“We (call on) the US side to stop intervening in the South China Sea and stop military provocation in the South China Sea,” the minister was quoted as saying.
The US has stepped up its military presence in the South China Sea — mostly claimed by Beijing — under the pretext of freedom of navigation operations in international waters. [FULL STORY]