TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's embassy in the Philippines on Monday (Nov. 23) accused the U.S. of sowing "chaos" in Asia after a U.S. envoy pledged support for Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam in the face of Chinese military aggression.
During a speech in Manila on Monday, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien assured the Philippines and Vietnam that "we've got your back" when it comes to China's disputes with those countries over the South China Sea. He then warned that Beijing would face a "backlash" if it tried to use military force against Taiwan, reported The Hill.
“I can’t imagine anything that will cause a greater backlash against China from the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan,” said O'Brien. He then added that “The U.S. is with her friends in Taipei. We will continue to be there.”
In response, the Chinese embassy in Manila issued a statement in which it claimed that O'Brien's visit to the region "is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the US."
The embassy called on the U.S. to "stop interfering and inciting confrontation" in the South China Sea. It then exhorted U.S. politicians to pay more attention to domestic issues and “stop making irresponsible remarks on the Taiwan and Hong Kong issue, which are purely China’s internal affairs."
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea with its nine-dash line, while Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam dispute these claims. After the Philippines challenged China's claims in an international tribunal, the court ruled in 2016 that "there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources."
Since 2013, China has constructed at least seven artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea. It has also installed runways and dozens of hangars for warplanes as well as missile batteries on these islands.