(4th UPDATE) Admiral Sun Jianguo: 'China firmly opposes such behavior. We do not make trouble but we have no fear of trouble.'
MARITIME ROW. China's Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), delivers his speech during a plenary session at the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 5, 2016. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP
An Asian security summit ended in discord Sunday, June 5, after
denounced US "provocations" in the South China
Sea and declared it does not fear trouble in the contested waters.
"The South China Sea issue has become overheated because of the provocations of certain countries for their own selfish interests," Admiral Sun Jianguo told an annual forum in
Sun, who stressed
China's desire for a
peaceful solution, spoke one day after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said
any Chinese construction on an islet near the Philippines
would prompt unspecified "actions" by the
and other nations. United States
On a visit to
Mongolia Sunday, US
Secretary of State John Kerry also warned Beijing against setting up an air defense identification zone
over the disputed waters.
"We would consider an ADIZ, an ADIZ zone, over portions of the South China Sea as a provocative and destabilizing act, which would automatically raise tensions and call into serious question
commitment to diplomatically manage the territorial disputes of the South China Sea," Kerry said.
"We believe that it is critical that no country move unilaterally to militarize the region," he added.
His remarks came on the eve of a US-China dialogue in Beijing and after Hong Kong's South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper cited Chinese army sources as saying Beijing was mulling such a zone.
Rhetoric has escalated ahead of a decision at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in
The Hague on a case brought by the Philippines, a longtime US ally and former colony, against , which
says it will not recognize any ruling. China
The Chinese admiral said US naval and air patrols in the sea were a display of "military muscles" and
was being forced to
"accept and honor" the tribunal's ruling. China
opposes such behavior. We do not make trouble but we have no fear of
trouble," Sun, the leader of the Chinese delegation in China , said
in prepared remarks. Singapore
Carter had left
the time Sun made his speech. Singapore
Sun also took exception to Carter's statement on Saturday that
risks building a "Great Wall of
self-isolation" with its military expansion. Beijing
"We were not isolated in the past. We're not isolated, and we will not be isolated in the future. Actually I am worried some people and countries are still looking at
Cold War mentality and prejudice," the Chinese admiral said in response to
questions from other delegates. China
Apparently referring to the
and the ,
Sun said "some hegemonic countries have empowered small countries to make
provocations against big countries." Philippines
The SCMP has reported that
China plans to establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal 230
kilometers (140 miles) off the
which considers it part of its exclusive economic zone. Philippines
According to a Pentagon report,
added more than 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) of land to the 7 islets it
occupies in the Spratlys, a separate island chain from Scarborough.
Carter declined to elaborate when pressed on Saturday over what "actions"
But the Pentagon chief proposed stronger bilateral security cooperation with Washington to reduce
the risk of a mishap. China
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the forum that the European Union had a stake in maintaining freedom of shipping and navigation in the
South China Sea,
and said he would speak to his counterparts on the issue.
Pentagon officials say two Chinese fighters last month conducted an "unsafe" intercept of a US spy plane in international airspace over the
South China Sea.