International criticism of China over the disputed South China Sea will rebound like a coiled spring, a senior diplomat said on Friday, accusing the Philippines of ignoring treaties dating back to 1898 as it pushes its maritime claims.
China claims almost all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.
Ouyang Yujing, Director-General of Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said he had noticed recent criticism of China coming from outside the region.
“Of course, we’re willing to take on board constructive comments and criticism by the relevant countries,” Ouyang told a news briefing.
“But if they are aimed at putting pressure on China or blackening its name, then you can view it like a spring, which has an applied force and a counterforce. The more the pressure, the greater the reaction,” he said.