US official questions China's intentions in South China Sea

2016-04-21 10:05
(Ritchie B Tongo, Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Ritchie B Tongo, Pool Photo via AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hanoi - US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday questioned China's intentions with its massive land reclamation project in the South China Sea during a visit to Vietnam.

"The United States and Vietnam share the interest in maintaining peace and stability in the region. So do China. But it's massive land reclamation project in the South China Sea and increasing militarization of these outposts fuel regional tension and raise serious questions about China's intentions," Blinken said during a speech to several hundred students at Vietnam's National University in Hanoi.

China claims the entire South China sea, a water area believed to be rich in oil and gas and is one of the world's busiest maritime lines. The territorial claim is disputed by other countries in the region, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

"The United States will defend our national interest and support our allies and partners in the region. We are not looking for bases, but we will continue to sail, to fly, to operate anywhere that international laws allow," he said.

Blinken said the United States welcomes China's peaceful rise and that he hoped China will "act in accordance with international norms and rules and laws," because that not only benefits China but also other countries.

He said ignoring those rules and the laws would alienate many countries and over time diminish and not expand China's power.

Blinken's trip comes ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama to Hanoi in late May, when he is expected to discuss a range of issues, including the South china Sea and human rights, with Vietnam's leaders.

Blinken said the Vietnamese government should release all political prisoners it is holding and stop arresting those who are "exercising their internationally recognized rights."

Read more on:    us  |  china  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.