United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has asserted that the country will continue to play a “pivotal” role in Asia in the future, a day after Beijing warned Washington against meddling in the “disputed” South China Sea.
The BBC quoted Carter, as saying that the U.S. was not looking to militarise the situation, but “nothing” would stop it from flying, sailing in the Pacific, as it always has. He added that the U.S. could ensure peace and prosperity in the region and that is the only way “everyone gets to rise and win.”
The statement came amid rising tension over China’s construction activities in the South China Sea and marked an escalation in war of words between Washington and Beijing.
Yesterday, China issued a six-point response to U.S.’ call for an “immediate and lasting halt” to its actions in the disputed waters, in which it reasserted its sovereignty in the sea while rejecting Washington’s claims that its actions in the South China Sea were “out of step” with international rules.