China on Friday reaffirmed that it was committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Beijing rejected U.S. President, Barack Obama’s comments that Beijing was using its “sheer size and muscle” to intimidate its neighbours.
“I think everybody can see who has the biggest size and muscle in the world,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, at a routine news conference.
Obama made his comments during an event in Jamaica on Thursday ahead of a Caribbean summit in Panama.
He was quoted as saying that the U.S. was concerned that China was not abiding by international norms and was using its “size and muscle” to bully smaller claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam.
“We hope the U.S. can respect the efforts made by China and ASEAN (regional body) in resolving the South China Sea issue.
“We hope U.S. genuinely play a positive, constructive and responsible role in promoting peace and stability in the South China Sea and the region, Hua said.
She said China had always advocated a “dual track” approach in addressing the South China Sea issue.
Hua said China had maintained that the relevant disputes should be resolved peacefully through friendly negotiations by the countries directly concerned.
She said this even as peace and stability in the South China Sea be jointly maintained by China and ASEAN.
“Currently, China is maintaining active and effective communication with ASEAN members on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
“It is also doing so with regards to the formulation of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea,” she said.