China has said it will never “bully” small countries, nor will it tolerate “blackmail” on the South China Sea issue.
The statement from the Foreign Ministry comes in response to claims from the Philippines that it initiated arbitration as it was unable to solve maritime delimitation disputes with China through dialogue due to, what it described as, the two countries’ very unequal strengths.
Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the logic behind the rhetoric is that “a strong nation is bound to seek hegemony.”
However, Lu Kang said the rhetoric is obviously from those who attempt to smear China.
He said China adheres to the path of peaceful development and follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature.
He said China knows its responsibility and obligation to safeguard regional peace and stability.