23:49 GMT +320 November 2019
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     USS Nimitz, USS Chosin, USS Sampson, and USS Pinkney in South China Sea (File)

    Beijing Slams Washington for 'Malicious Hyping-up Behavior' Over South China Sea Issue

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    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the United States had repeatedly “made thoughtless remarks, made warrantless criticisms against China, completely distorting the facts and confusing right from wrong”, the Press TV broadcaster reported.

    “China urges the United States to stop this kind of malicious hyping-up behavior, and play a positive and constructive role in regional and international matters”, Geng said.

    On Monday, The US Department of Defence (DoD) said in a statement that it was "greatly concerned by China's continued efforts to violate the rules-based international order throughout the Indo-Pacific", adding that Beijing "will not win the trust of its neighbors nor the respect of the international community by maintaining its bullying tactics".

    A majority of islands in the South China Sea are controlled by Beijing although many of those territories are claimed by other countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei and the Philippines.

    China recently claimed the entire South China Sea as a sovereign territory and built many military bases on artificial islands over sensitive marine habitat. The United States and other regional nations view the sea as an international waterway. 

    Washington routinely defies Beijing with patrols by US and allied warships in so-called freedom of navigation exercises.

    Earlier this year, US Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver said that the US was seeking stronger military ties with Vietnam as it continues to enhance the country's military capabilities amid an alleged growing Chinese threat.

    The Pentagon, meanwhile, has announced naval drills off the coast of Vietnam’s southernmost province of Ca Mau, where the US Navy will dispatch 'suspicious boats' in a mock drill to help the navies of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to “search, verify and legally prosecute” the boats, the Press TV said.

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    South China Sea, United States, China
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