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Beijing tears into Pentagon over South China Sea issue

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Ahead of a high-level Sino-US dialogue, China today accused the Pentagon of clinging to "cold war" mentality and attempting to stage a Hollywood blockbuster by deploying its modern weapons in the South China Sea to "terrify" Beijing.

In an angry reaction to US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter's remarks that "China's actions could erect a Great Wall of self-isolation" in the South China Sea (SCS),Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media here that"Carter's remarks reflected typical American style thinking and hegemony".

"Although we have entered 21st century, some people in US still keeps the cold war mentality and cook up stories and seek or even create rivalry world wide," she said.

"This time they have focus their aim at Asia Pacific with the purpose of deploying large amount of advanced weapons in the region by creating excuses," she said.

"I want to say that in a globalised world today the cold war mentality will lead nowhere and yield no result. China has no interest in form of cold war and has no interest in playing a part in the Hollywood blockbuster directed by people form the US military. China will firmly oppose and we will not deter and terrified by any action that may damage China's territorial sovereignty and security," she said.

Last week, Carter while addressing a graduation ceremony at Naval Academy in Maryland said China's military expansion in the SCS poses a growing risk to the region's prosperity and its actions could erect a "Great Wall of self-isolation".

"Instead of helping sustain those very principles and systems that have served all of us so well and for so long, instead of working toward the, quote, 'win-win cooperation' that Beijing publicly says it wants, China plays by its own rules undercutting those principles," he said.

"The result is that China's actions could erect a Great Wall of self-isolation," Carter said.

China claims all but most all of the SCS which is vehemently disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

US waded into the region by sending naval ships and aircraft to assert freedom of navigation around an artificial islands built by Beijing in the region to beef-up its claims.

The US-China spat over the SCS came as top officials of both the countries will gather here for the eighth China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the seventh China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) to be held on June 6 and 7.

The S&ED will be co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi along with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, another spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Lu Kang said.

The CPE will be co-chaired by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Kerry.

First Published: Mon, May 30 2016. 18:32 IST