The U.S. State Department’s number two diplomat on Friday compared China’s behavior in pursuit of territory in the South China Sea to that of Russia in eastern Ukraine.
Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China’s large scale reclamation projects in the South China Sea, “a threat to peace and stability.”
He said the United States took no position on the merits of competing claims in the disputed sea, but had a strong interest in how those were pursued, and in preserving freedom of navigation.
“The way forward is for China, and all claimants, to freeze their reclamation activities and resolve their difference in accordance the rule of law,” he said.
“In both eastern Ukraine and the South China Sea, we’re witnessing efforts to unilaterally and coercively change the status quo — transgressions that the United States and our allies stand united against,” Blinken said in a speech at the Center for a New American Security think tank.
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