As US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with Chinese leaders, state media blamed Washington for failing to calm “flaring regional tensions” in East Asia. Many US and Asian observers point the finger at China’s rapid military modernisation and increasing assertiveness. But the official Xinhua news agency said Kerry’s visit took place “amid formidable and escalating tensions between US ally Japan and China.”
“The United States has to know that, while Beijing has always been trying to address territorial brawls with some neighbouring countries through peaceful means, it will not hesitate to take steps to secure its key national security interests according to China’s sovereign rights,” the agency said in a commentary. Shi Yinhong, a Beijing-based international relations analyst, said Washington and Beijing have both become more entrenched in their opposing positions on the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
“The core is that China’s firm policy is the opposite of the US’ firm policy, and this contradiction cannot be resolved in the foreseeable future,” Shi told dpa. China’s increasingly assertive claim to most of the South China Sea puts it at odds with several south-east Asian nations that claim disputed islands, most notably Vietnam and the Philippines.