China slammed the Vietnamese head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Wednesday for a series of allegedly biased and false remarks on South China Sea disputes.
“Mr. Le Luong Minh has repeatedly made biased comments on the issue of the South China Sea, which were untrue and incompatible with his capacity as ASEAN secretary-general,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a press briefing, according to Xinhua.
“We advise Mr. Le Luong Minh do his part as ASEAN secretary-general, stick to ASEAN’s neutrality on the South China Sea issue, and do more to promote the healthy development of China-ASEAN relations,” Hong added.
Hong also suggested that Le’s comments had damaged ASEAN’s image as a regional organization because he was making comments on behalf of one country rather than reflecting the consensus of the grouping more broadly.
A Reuters report, carried by several other international media outlets, noted that China may be reacting to Le’s comments on the South China Sea to The Manila Times last week.