China claims it opposes bullying, upholds justice
The US, however, said the threat posed by China needs to be taken seriously.
AFP/ File
China claims it opposes bullying, upholds justice
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — China has always been a “staunch guardian” of international fairness and justice, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, belying accusations by many of its neighbors and the US of bullying and intimidation in disputed waters.

The US, however, said the threat posed by China needs to be taken seriously.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated that China adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries.

He said China also upholds the rule of law and joined almost all inter-governmental international organizations and international conventions.

“We oppose bullying and advocate dialogue instead of conflict, consultation instead of intimidation and win-win outcomes instead of zero-sum game. China has always been a staunch guardian of international fairness and justice,” Zhao said at a press conference on Tuesday.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the US strongly opposes China’s bullying and hopes other nations will hold them to account too.

The US asked nations to remember that the long-term threats to security have not disappeared as China is taking advantage of the distraction of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing its provocative behavior in the South China Sea.

Washington urged all governments, parties and institutions around the world to assess the risk and reconsider business deals with the “predatory” Chinese state-owned enterprises, including the company central to the militarization and coercion in the South China Sea.

In August, the US blacklisted Chinese companies and imposed visa restrictions on Chinese individuals, including executives of state-owned enterprises responsible for Beijing’s reclamation, construction and militarization of disputed outposts and coercion of Southeast Asian claimants, in line with the new US policy on Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea.

China pursued environmentally destructive land reclamation and militarization of disputed outposts that has done irreparable damage to coral reefs, the State Department said.

It said Beijing also used these platforms in the South China Sea as platforms of coercion against their neighbors, expanding the reach of China’s maritime militia and civilian law enforcement vessels, often backed by the Chinese military, to intimidate Southeast Asian claimants from accessing offshore resources.

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