CHINA’S embassy in the Philippines yesterday denounced the United States for “creating chaos” in Asia after President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, Robert O’Brien, backed countries in disputes with China and accused Beijing of using military pressure to further its interests.
On Monday, O’Brien underscored the US’ commitment to Taiwan and told the Philippines and Vietnam, countries locked in maritime rows with China, that “we’ve got your back.”
“He blatantly accused China on no ground, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, deliberately exaggerated regional tensions and attempted to sow discord between China and the Philippines,” the embassy said in a statement.
The US Embassy in Manila and the Department of Foreign Affairs has yet to comment on the Chinese embassy statement.
The embassy said it firmly opposed O’Brien’s remarks, adding they reeked of Cold War mentality and incited confrontation in the region.
“It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the US,” the embassy said.
O’Brien, who turned over $18 million worth of anti-tank missiles and smart bombs to Manila, renewed the US pledge to come to the defense of the Philippines if its forces, ship or aircraft comes under attack in the South China Sea, reiterating an earlier commitment by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Washington and Manila has an existing Mutual Defense Treaty.
O’Brien also raised the importance of maritime security and freedom of the seas as he underscored the continued US support for Manila’s sovereign rights to offshore resources in the South China Sea.
Last month, the Department of Energy announced it will resume oil exploration activities at Recto (Reed Bank) near Palawan, an area also claimed by China.
China claims nearly the entire South China Sea through its nine-dash line though it lost an arbitration case filed by the Philippines in 2013 before the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
The Chinese embassy questioned Washington’s right to intervene in the issue, saying it was not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.
“The US is not a party to the SCS dispute, but it frequently sends warships and planes to the SCS on numerous occasions for military provocations and goes as far as using electronic codes of civil aviation of the Philippines and other regional countries to carry out espionage in the SCS,” it added.
The embassy said while it appreciates and respects Manila’s independent foreign policy, it believes that the “Philippine government and people will stand on the right side of history.”
The embassy also said the US has no right to interfere on the Taiwan and Hong Kong issues, saying this is an internal affair of China.
“There is only one China in the world. Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are inalienable parts of China. This is an objective fact and a basic norm governing international relations, which cannot be denied by a handful of politicians with Cold War mentality,” it added.