China has condemned Washington’s statement that said the United States was closely watching Chinese moves in the disputed South China Sea, and that setting up a military garrison by Beijing further pushes tensions in the area.
Beijing reacted strongly by telling a senior US embassy diplomat that the United States must "respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
China’s state media also attacked Washington on Monday, saying the United States was "trouble-making" on the South China Sea issue.
The China Daily newspaper stated in an editorial that the U.S. statement "has deservedly evoked curses on the street" while another commentary told Washington to "shut up" on the issue.
The medley of territorial claims in the South China Sea has turned Asia into a terrible impending military flash-point.
The U.S. State Department on Friday expressed apprehensions over Beijing’s moves in the South China Sea.
"In particular, China's upgrading of the administrative level of Sansha City and establishment of a new military garrison there covering disputed areas of the South China Sea run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region," acting deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.
China’s foreign ministry has said Beijing’s territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian claimants should be resolved one after another. Besides, it criticized Washington for supporting a many-sided approach to resolving the issues.
China claims ownership of much of the South China Sea, including Spratly and Paracel islands, by citing centuries’ old contacts. To reinforce its claim, it recently established military garrison city in the region. Beijing uses the city as its administrative base for the whole region, including the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.
Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia are also claimants of the South China Sea.
"If the White House is interested in restoring peace in the South China Sea, it should talk the real trouble-makers into behaving. The truth, however, is that it has been instigating the other countries in the disputes and even arming them, while blaming China for its defensive moves,” the China Daily said in its editorial.