UPDATED 7:15 AM PT — Friday, March 01, 2019
Top Chinese officials are speaking out after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised to defend the Philippines as the battle for ownership over the South China Sea continues.
During a speech Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the U.S. should not “incite trouble” in the disputed waterway.
This comes after Pompeo said the U.S. remains committed to protecting free commercial transit in the sea while in Manila.
The Chinese official shot back, accusing the Trump administration of stoking unrest in the region.
“China and the countries around the South China Sea are working hard to protect peace and stability in the region,” said Kang. “If countries outside the region, like the United States, really want to consider the peace, tranquility and well-being of people in the region, then they shouldn’t make trouble out of nothing.”
The Chinese spokesperson went on to say Beijing would never attempt to claim sole ownership over the waterway or block other countries from accessing it.