China today criticised some US Senators for bringing a bill seeking sanctions on Chinese firms engaged in "illegitimate activities" in the disputed South China Sea, saying the move showed their "arrogance and ignorance".
"The bill proposed by some US senators shows their arrogance and ignorance," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, responding on the bill calling for sanctions against firms engaged in dredging to expand the militarised islands China had built in the South China Sea (SCS).
"China's position on the SCS is consistent and clear. Relevant bill made by the US senators has violated the relevant international laws and basic norms of governing international relations. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it," she said.
Rubio, a Republican Senator who unsuccessfully contested against President Donald Trump, said the security of US allies in the western Pacific "cannot be endangered by Beijing's ongoing flagrant violations of international norms in its pursuit of dominance in the SCS and East China Sea".
"China's aggressive actions in the SCS are illegitimate and threaten the region's security and American commerce, with reverberations that can be felt here at home, including Florida's ports and throughout our state's shipping and cargo economy," Rubio was quoted as saying in the media.
China claims almost all of the resource-rich SCS.
Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.
The bill comes ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first visit to China to discuss a range of issues including the North Korean crisis and the next month's first summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida.
As the US tries to pile pressure on China to act against North Korea, Beijing is livid with Washington's move to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missiles in South Korea to counter the missile threat from the North Korea.
Hua defended China's stand against THAAD, saying its opposition is justified and urged Seoul and Washington to roll back the move.
"China understands the ROK's (South Korea) concerns with maintaining its own security, but THAAD harms strategic balance in the region and is not conducive to stability on the Korean Peninsula," she said.
Hua said the coverage of the THAAD missile defence system, especially the monitoring scope of its X-Band radar, went far beyond the defence needs of the Korean Peninsula and reached into the hinterlands of Asia, and could peer deep into Chinese territories.
"The ROK Foreign Ministry has clarified the issue, with the Chinese side, that the reports are untrue," Hua said, adding that China's opposition to the deployment of THAAD was clear and consistent.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)