On Monday White House press secretary Sean Spicer vowed that the #unitedstates would "make sure we protect our interests" in the South China Sea.
"It's a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we're going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country," Spicer added.
#china 's Foreign Ministry responded by saying the "United States is not a party to the South China Sea dispute." They reassured that China's control over the islands was "irrefutable." The ministry added that "We urge the United States to respect the facts, speak and act cautiously to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea."
This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US should block China's access to the Islands that sit in the sea. "We're going to have to send China a clear signal that first, the island-building stops and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed," Tillerson told the US Foreign Relations Commitee.
The disputed waters are claimed by several nations such as #taiwan , #china , #vietnam , the #philippines , #brunei , and #malaysia . The former Obama administration had several confrontations with China involving US warships. He was criticized by some Asian nations for not doing enough to stop the Chinese expansion. #AtlasNewsUpdateUnitedStates