23:12 GMT28 February 2021
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    Director of the Center for the South Pacific Institute of International Studies, Shen Shishun, spoke to Sputnik China about the South China Sea and US involvement in the region.

    “The US has no territorial jurisdiction in the South China Sea and moreover is not a part of this conflict. For a long time the United States under the pretext of upholding the principles of freedom of navigation butted into the South China Sea and even engaged in provocations of the ASEAN countries, while limiting China in its development,” Shishun said.

    He further said that China's position on account of the disputed territories in the South China Sea remains unchanged, its sovereignty is indisputable.

    Moreover, the issue should be solved by the parties that are directly involved. Any interference by any country that does not belong to the territory will only complicate the situation in the region.

    “If we look at the situation on part of China, in my view, China can work together with a number of neighboring countries to maintain a peaceful and stable situation in the South China Sea, in order to promote the ‘Economic Silk Road Belt’ initiative and to increase cooperation with ASEAN countries and strengthen cooperation in areas of China and ASEAN free trade,” the director told Sputnik China.

    “In addition, it can be said that the US’ intervention is futile as the countries adjacent to China do not wish to become the lackeys of the United States,” the expert said.

    The political course taken by the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte as well as the recent visit of the Vietnamese administration to China is a proof of that.

    Currently, each of the participating countries of the conflict is taking measures to maintain stability in the region. However, the US does not want to watch this as it only wants to “muddy up the waters.”

    The expert further said that, “China is not taking any erroneous actions and is not afraid if someone will give it trouble. China cooperates with its neighbors and in the case of provocations may take tough countermeasures, strongly protecting territorial sovereignty, developing the islands which actually belong to it geographically, and maintaining the safety of navigation in the region,” Shishun concluded.

    The US under the new administration will defend the international status of the disputed territories in the South China Sea, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday.

    Spicer also assured that “the US intends to protect its national interests in the region.”

    With nearly $5 trillion in trade passing through its waters annually, the South China Sea is a highly contested region. While China claims most of the sea, there are overlapping claims from Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

    While the United States lays no claim in the region, it has criticized China’s land reclamation projects as a breach of international law.


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