U.S. urge China to cooperate over South China Sea row
The United States has warned of China's growing aggression in the South China Sea.
Washington's defense chief says Beijing risks erecting a "Great Wall of self-isolation" in the region.
Our Ji Myung-kil with the details.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter had some stern words for China on Saturday at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Carter said China is pushing hard to expand its military presence across the South China Sea.
Indeed, in the South China Sea, China has taken some expansive and unprecedented actions, that have generated concerns about China's strategic intentions."
Carter added that countries in the region have been taking action and voicing concerns publicly and privately, at the highest levels.
China's claim to nearly the entire South China Sea has angered its Southeast Asian neighbors and pitted it against Washington,... which has conducted patrols near Chinese-held islands to press for freedom of navigation.
The contested waters also encompass key global shipping lanes.
Carter urged Beijing to join the regional trend of engaging in dialogue with its neighbors or risk diplomatic isolation.
"As a result, China's actions in the South China Sea are isolating it, at a time when the entire region is coming together and networking. Unfortunately, if these actions continue, China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation."
The U.S. defense chief said Washington is willing to expand its bilateral military agreements with China to focus on risk reduction in the region but also to build upon practical cooperation.
Carter's attendance at Asia's largest security summit is part of a broader U.S. diplomatic push... known as the Asia "rebalance"... to build and maintain Washington's alliances in the Asia-Pacific region.
Meantime, China has responded by saying that 'self-isolation' is merely a term created by the U.S. Defense Secretary and not a reflection of the situation on the ground.