Tensions escalate as the United States Navy prepares to confront China should it continue its overreaching maritime activities in the South China Sea.
China has claimed ownership of most of the resource-rich area around the South China Sea - specifically Scarborough Shoal, which continues to be contested by the Philippines. The United States has told China to respect the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague over their disproved claims. China, however, refuses to yield.
On Wednesday, Commander of the US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris made these statements during a speech in Sydney over China's aggressive expansion:
“We will not allow a shared domain to be closed down unilaterally no matter how many bases are built on artificial features in the South China Sea and we will cooperate when we can but we will be ready to confront when we must.”
“The US fought its first war following our independence to ensure freedom of navigation. This is an enduring principle and one of the reasons our forces stand ready to fight tonight,” He added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had this response when asked about Harris' speech.
"We hope the United States can abide by its promises on not taking sides on the sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea, respect the efforts of countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and do more to promote peace and stability there" he said during a daily news briefing.
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