China Fumes Over US Knock on South China Sea

Beijing calls in top US diplomat Robert Wang

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 5, 2012 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Stung by comments from Washington over the South China Sea, China has summoned a top US diplomat and urged America to "mend the error of its ways." The US State Department said Friday that China's creation of a new city with a military garrison to oversee the region runs "counter to collaborative diplomatic efforts to resolve differences and [risks] further escalating tensions in the region." China reacted by calling for the US Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Wang, reports Reuters.

A Chinese official said the US "disregarded the facts ... and did not help with efforts by relevant parties to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea or the Asia Pacific." At issue is a power struggle over possibly vast oil reserves in the South China Sea, part of the Pacific Ocean that runs from the Strait of Taiwan to the Malacca Straits to Singapore. China claims ownership, but Vietnam and the Philippines are also racing to drill the sea's potentially valuable oil.

Chinese fishing boats sail in the lagoon of Meiji reef off the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea, July 20, 2012.
Chinese fishing boats sail in the lagoon of Meiji reef off the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea, July 20, 2012.   (AP Photo)
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