BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Thursday refuted U.S. allegations of militarizing the South China Sea and undermining the international system.
In response to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's address at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Hua told a press briefing that labels like "militarizing the South China Sea" should never be pinned on China.
China was not the first one to start construction or deploy necessary armaments in the South China Sea, nor is it the one to deploy the most weaponry. The United States cannot use the so-called militarization to deprive China of the right to defend its own territory, Hua said.
She said it is the United States which has actually militarized the area and threatened freedom of navigation, adding that the country, over 8,300 miles from the South China Sea, has built several military bases with offensive weapons around the area, and frequently sent aircraft carriers and strategic bombers throughout the year.
In his remarks, Blinken said China threatens NATO security, calling for a joint approach to counter China as the country "is working to undercut the international system" and the values the United States and its allies share.
"There is only one system in the world, which is the international system with the United Nations as its core. And there is only one set of rules, which are the basic norms of international relations based on the principles of the UN Charter," Hua said.
Noting that the United States has withdrawn from a number of treaties over the years, Hua said it has now wielded the stick of sanctions, and imposed unilateral and illegal sanctions on other sovereign countries.
"The label of 'undermining the international system' belongs to the United States," Hua said.
"We hope the United States will correctly understand itself and others, abandon zero-sum game and cold war mentality, truly learn to deal with other countries based on equality and mutual respect, and assume the important responsibilities of major powers for world peace and development," Hua said.