China scolds US 'microphone diplomacy' over South China Sea

Senior Chinese diplomat says South China Sea and cyber security disagreements should be handled in ‘proper way’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United States and China should settle their differences over the South China Sea and cybersecurity in "a proper way," not with "microphone diplomacy," a senior Chinese diplomat said in a Washington meeting on Wednesday.

Wu Xi, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Washington, said a new approach will lead to a successful visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the US this year and those issues should not hamper common interests between the two countries.

"Resorting to microphone diplomacy, or pointing fingers at each other, will not solve any problems," Wu said.

"The right choice is to recognise our differences, respect each other and engage in real dialogue."

She was speaking in a meeting to mark the US-China Working Group's 10th anniversary in the US Congress.

Her comments follow growing tension between the two countries over the disputed South China Sea territorial claims. China claims nearly 90 percent of the sea, but other countries in the region have rival claims.

The United States is concerned about Beijing's increasing construction of artificial islands, saying they can be used for military purposes. Washington has strengthened military cooperation with regional players like Japan, South Korea and Australia in response.

The US and China are also arguing over cyber attacks on American targets that Washington has blamed on Chinese hackers. Beijing denies all accusations and says the US has been irresponsible to voice them.

"We need to address our differences in a proper way," Wu told the media, adding the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting could be a place to discuss individual issues. The meeting will be held on June 22-24, before Xi's September visit to Washington.

Wu and US officials have stressed the importance of economic cooperation instead of talking about "tensions," while saying the differences "cannot be masked."

Video war

Meanwhile, China and the Philippines have been involved in a "video war" over the South China Sea, as the dispute continues to be a hot topic in the region.

The Philippines government has announced that it will broadcast a three-part documentary to defend its position during its Independence Day, following a Chinese television series with the same goal two years ago.

Manila hopes the documentary titled "Karapatan sa Dagat," or maritime rights, will urge people to support the government's stance against China. There will also be a comic book to raise awareness over the issue.

China’s 2013 TV series is based on its historic "the nine-dash line" claim that was mapped in the 1940s over the disputed sea. It has refused to participate in an international arbitration case filed by the Philippines in The Hague.

Manila is also planning to submit a 300-year-old map to the international tribunal to defend his position in the South China Sea. Local media said the map, which is known as the Murillo Velarde and was published in 1734 by a Jesuit priest, will debunk China's "nine-dash line" claim.

TRTWorld and agencies