The United States accuses Beijing of intimidation in the South China Sea
BANGKOK: Washington and Beijing exchanged barbs for disputes at a regional summit in Bangkok on Monday, and the United States accused the superpower of intimidating plaintiffs on the resource-rich waterway.
China responded with a critical evening to the United States, accusing it of increasing tensions in the waters, a key global shipping route.
Beijing claims large areas of sea where it is accused of building military facilities and false islands, and ramming fishing boats.
For a long time, the United States accused him of intimidating other plaintiffs: Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, calling for freedom of navigation in the area.
The United States national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, retracted the US rhetoric against China on Monday, speaking at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Beijing has used intimidation to try to prevent ASEAN nations from exploiting their resources on the high seas, he said, at an ASEAN meeting on Monday.
Large countries should not intimidate other countries, he told reporters later.
Meanwhile, China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Le Yucheng, accused some outside countries of meddling in the sea, answering a question about US comments on the waters.
Some non-regional countries cannot live with calm waters in the South China Sea and have traveled all this way to make waves, he said in an apparent coup in the United States.
In return, O'Brien said later we don't think we are intrusive.
We always come when we are invited, unlike other countries, he said after Le's comments came up.
Tensions have increased at the turning point in recent weeks after China deployed a reconnaissance ship in waters claimed by Hanoi.
Although communist neighbors have long fought over the sea, Hanoi defended itself in fiery language after the most recent raid.
The ship departed after a few weeks, but Vietnam could look for a harder language in the latest ASEAN statement that is expected to be delivered later Monday.
Vietnam is pushing for specific incidents to be mentioned in the document, while the other parties prefer a general statement, Philippine finance secretary Sonny Dominguez previously told reporters.
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Sunday that Beijing promised to move forward with an agreement on the Code of Conduct, which has repeatedly delayed since the talks began in 2002 while carrying out its expansionist strategy at sea.