- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2015

China accused the U.S. of hypocrisy on Friday after President Obama said China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to intimidate other nations in the South China Sea.

Satellite photo published earlier this week show Chinese dredgers building an island of sand on a reef in the Spratly Islands off the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, all of which have claims on the islands as well as Brunei and Taiwan.

During a forum on Thursday in Kingstown, Jamaica, Mr. Obama said the U.S. is concerned that China is “not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules and is using its seer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions,” the Tribune News Service reported.

When asked about Mr. Obama’s comment, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the U.S. should remember its own history of exerting influence on other countries.

“I think everyone can see very clearly who it is in the world who is using the greatest size and muscle,” she said, Tribune News Service reported.

Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet also accused China of being too aggressive in the South China Seat, edging out other countries in a vital fishing and shipping area.

China is creating a great wall of sand, with dredges and bulldozers,” Mr. Harris said in a speech last week in Canberra, Australia, Tribune reported.

But Ms. Chunying said Thursday that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the islands and their adjacent waters and said that building up the area would serve military needs and allow China to provide maritime assistance to remote areas during emergency situations, like a typhoon.

China sticks to the path of peaceful development and upholds a defense policy that is defensive in nature,” she said. “Peace and stability of the South China Sea serves China’s interests of development and security.”

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