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China Calls on US to «Stop Flexing Muscles» in S China Sea
By Staff, Agencies
On Monday's defense talks in Bangkok, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe urged US Secretary of War Mark Esper to "stop flexing its muscles" in the South China Sea and to avoid adding "new uncertainties" over Taiwan, underlining tensions between the world's two most powerful nations, Reuters reported.
According to Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian, the minister has called on his US counterparts to "stop flexing muscles in the South China Sea and to not provoke and escalate tensions in the South China Sea".
No response has so far been received from the United States, though they have blamed Beijing for militarizing the South China Sea.
On Sunday, Esper stated that the eastern Asian power was "increasingly resorting to coercion and intimidation to advance its strategic objectives" in the region.
The United States also accuses China of expanding its military reach in the region, including via the construction of military installations on artificial islands. China insists that its installations in the South China Sea serve defensive purposes and are being used primarily for scientific research and maritime safety programs.
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