China garrison raises tension in disputed sea
WASHINGTON – The United States is criticizing China's new military garrison in the contested South China Sea as risking an escalation in tensions.
The State Department issued a statement Friday voicing concern over the situation in the resource-rich sea and strong support for diplomatic efforts by Southeast Asian nations to negotiate with China.
The Philippines and Vietnam have described as unacceptable and a violation of international law China's establishment last month of Sansha city on a remote island, intended to administer hundreds of thousands of square miles of water where it wants to strengthen its control over disputed, and potentially oil-rich, islands.
The U.S. said that move, and the new garrison, "run counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and risk further escalating tensions in the region."