07:13 GMT +317 November 2018
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    US Navy amphibious assault vehicles with Philippine and US troops on board maneuver in the waters during a combined exercise in the South China Sea.

    South China Sea: US Pursuing ‘Expansionist Agenda’ Exposes Double Standard

    © AP Photo / Bullit Marquez
    Asia & Pacific
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    On October 27, the US Navy sent its USS Lassen within 12 nautical miles of one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea. The move received vast criticism as it was seen as an attempt to anger Beijing.

    According to an American political professor, the United States is pursuing an ‘expansionist agenda’ in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Dennis Etler, professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, said, “The US refuses to recognize China's claims and insists it has the right of freedom of navigation wherever it so chooses throughout the South China Sea, but there is a problem however with US intransigence regarding China's claims,” Press TV reported.

    “The rival Chinese government on Taiwan, the Republic of China, lays claim to the same territory and has built on and occupied islands in the South China Sea years before the People’s Republic of China began similar reclamations,” he pointed out.

    “In addition the countries that claim the territory today did not even exist at the time China's claims to the territory were first announced,” he observed.

    Etler further said that the US selectively challenges China's presence in the South China Sea to suit its own “expansionist agenda which has nothing to do with the laws of the sea, the treaty for which the US has adamantly refused to sign.”

    “Taipei, like Beijing, has also said that ‘the future developments’ in the South China Sea will be carried out ‘with the aim of peace, to make it a hub for humanitarian assistance, environmental protection, and scientific research in the Spratly Islands.”

    The professor pointed out the irony in the case saying that the US has never protested Chinese claims to the South China Sea when they originated from Taipei, “but has a conniption fit when they emanate from Beijing. This double standard fully exposes the hypocrisy of the US position and its lack of legitimacy,” he noted.

    China has accused the United States of interfering in the regional issues and purposely stirring up tensions in the South China Sea. Beijing says it is determined to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the South China Sea.

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    Tags:
    disputed islands, freedom of navigation, land reclamation, expansion, South China Sea, China, United States
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