Tags: Donald Trump | china | pushes | back | sea | dispute

China Hits Back on Disputed Islands

China Hits Back on Disputed Islands

Chinese Navy (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 January 2017 05:04 PM

After President Donald Trump's administration signaled that the United States will oppose Chinese attempts to secure the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Beijing officials are pushing back.

"There might be a difference" of opinion about the islands, where China is currently constructing military bases, "but that's not for the United States" to involve itself, Lu Kang, a senior Chinese foreign ministry official, told NBC News Tuesday.

Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said in his confirmation hearing that America will stop China from reaching those islands.

"We're going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed," Tillerson said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that "the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests" in Asia, when asked if Trump agreed with Tillerson on the South China Sea, according to Reuters.

"That's not international territory, that's Chinese territory," Lu said. His country views the islands as important strategic points to protect their shipping routes, but U.S. officials claim the construction is an attempt to expand militarily.

Lu also mentioned Taiwan, whose leader called Trump shortly after his election, sparking outcry from the Chinese government.

"This issue touches upon China's core interests. By no means is this something that can be negotiated, or [used] as a bargaining chip," he said.

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After President Donald Trump's administration signaled that the United States will oppose Chinese attempts to secure the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Beijing officials are pushing back.
china, pushes, back, sea, dispute
237
2017-04-24
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 05:04 PM
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