US defense chief calls out China for ‘unlawful behavior’ in South China Sea


MANILA – The United States’ defense secretary has criticized China’s “unlawful behavior” in the South China Sea in a virtual meeting with his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners.

In a meeting on Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III blasted Beijing for its conduct in the disputed waters, wherein which lies the West Philippine Sea, the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) there.

“[Austin] also highlighted unlawful [People’s Republic of China] behavior in the South China Sea and called on Myanmar’s military to change course,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement released by the US Defense Department.

China continues to disregard the United Nations-backed ruling on the South China Sea, 90 percent of which they claim.