China Rapped for Maritime Expansion at East Asia Summit

Economy

Bangkok, Nov. 4 (Jiji Press)--China came under fire for accelerating the militarization of the South China Sea, at the East Asia Summit held in a Bangkok suburb on Monday.

Participants in the meeting focused on the situation in the sea, where China and some member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been locked in a sovereignty dispute.

Tensions are rising in the South China Sea. A Chinese maritime research ship has been operating intermittently within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone for more than three months.

At a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized the country's resolve to protect its sovereignty, territory and islands under international law, urging Beijing to respect the country's maritime economic activities.

During talks with ASEAN leaders on Monday, Robert O'Brien, national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, criticized China for attempting to block ASEAN countries' natural resources development through intimidation. O'Brien also said that China is making ASEAN nations unable to utilize 2.5 trillion dollars worth of oil and gas. O'Brien stood in for Trump, who skipped the East Asia Summit for the third straight year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press