China says US aims to spark conflict in South China Sea

China has accused the US of “stirring up tension and inciting confrontation” in the South China Sea, and urged Washington to stop trying to “disrupt and sabotage regional peace and stability.”

The remarks came after the US declared China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea to be “completely unlawful.”

In a statement issued late on Monday, the Chinese Embassy in Washington rejected the US’ assertions as “completely unjustified,” saying Beijing’s position on the matter “has been consistent and clear-cut.”

It reiterated that the US was again interfering in a matter that was out of its purview.

“The United States is not a country directly involved in the disputes. However, it has kept interfering in the issue […] Under the pretext of preserving stability, it [US] is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region,” read the statement quoted by state-run Xinhua News Agency.

It urged the US stop “taking sides on the issue of territorial sovereignty” and “stop its attempts to disrupt and sabotage regional peace and stability.”