China unfazed by threat of sanctions by US

Published July 16, 2020, 11:36 AM

by Roy Mabasa

China is not afraid of the threat of sanctions by the United States over the South China Sea issue, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying

“Speaking of sanctions, China is not afraid of them. However, as an old Chinese saying goes, ‘a tree wants to enjoy a moment of tranquility but the wind keeps blowing.’ If the US wants to make a storm, then just let the storm rage with greater force!” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Beijing’s latest reaction came following the remarks made by US State Assistant Secretary for East Asia David Stilwell saying that “nothing’s off the table” on whether Washington would consider using sanctions against Chinese enterprises or officials engaged in the South China Sea.

Stilwell also maintained that the US will no longer remain on the sidelines when China uses “gangster tactics” like blocking access of fishermen in Scarborough Shoal (also known as Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc) or militarizing the area.

Hua chided the US as “pathetic” for wantonly imposing sanctions or threatening to sanction others.

“We hope ‘sanction’ is not going to be the biggest and shiniest label that the US wants itself to be remembered by. It should earnestly reflect on its policies,” the Chinese foreign ministry official added.

Hua insisted that China will continue to uphold its sovereignty, security, and legitimate rights and interests in the large swathe of waters being contested by other countries such as the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

On July 12, 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippine petition invalidating China’s outrageous “nine-dash line” claim in the South China Sea.

Beijing did not participate in the arbitral proceedings and even rejected the award of the United Nations-backed court.