ADIn an Asian defense meeting that he attended in Thailand, Esper said most participants were “very concerned about China’s excessive claims” and its lack of compliance with international laws and norms. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Col. Wu Qian, told reporters in Bangkok that the South China Sea disputes were among numerous issues discussed by the two. ADWu said Esper and Wei had a “very positive and constructive” meeting and “agreed in many areas.” But he was clear that Beijing is irritated at the U.S. Navy’s presence in the South China Sea. Wei reaffirmed China’s commitment to safeguarding its “territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests” in the South China Sea, Wu said. “The Chinese side also urges the U.S. side to stop flexing muscles in the South China Sea and do not provoke and escalate tensions in the South China Sea,” Wu said through a Chinese interpreter.
Source: Washington Post November 19, 2019 10:52 UTC