Siding with India over border tension with China, the United States called Beijing’s aggression as 'provocative and disturbing behaviour' saying it indicated the threat posed by a country which is using its power be it the South China Sea or on the borders with India.
This statement by a senior US diplomat, Ms. Alice Wells, comes at a time when Indian and Chinese armies have rushed in additional troops in areas around Pangong Tso lake and Galwan Valley in Ladakh two weeks after being engaged in a face-off.
The Chinese troops have significantly increased their presence in areas around Pangong Tso and even brought in additional boats to the lake. The two sides also have brought in more troops to locations like Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.
'The flare-ups on the border, I think, are reminder that Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical. And so whether it's on the South China Sea or whether it's along the border with India we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China that raises questions about how China seeks to use its growing power,' said Ms. Wells, the outgoing head of the South and Central Asia bureau in the US State Department.
China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea while Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have made counterclaims.
Engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea, China has developed and militarised many of the islands and reefs which falls in the region and is not only rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources but is also vital to global trade.
She further said that the US wants an international system that provides benefit to “everyone and not a system in which there is suzerainty to China.”