China has hit the United States for its “zero-sum game mentality” and warned the Philippines against allowing itself to be “dragged into trouble waters.”
The Chinese embassy in Manila issued the statement Thursday hours after visiting US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III said reaffirming commitment to the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty was important as, “China continues to advance their illegitimate claims in the West Philippines Sea.”
“The United States, out of its self interests and zero-sum game mentality, continues to step up military posture in this region. Its actions escalate regional tension and undermine regional peace and stability,” the embassy said.
“It is hoped that the Philippine side stays vigilant and resists from being taken advantage of and dragged into trouble waters,” it added.
The embassy said Austin “smeared” China on the WPS issue “to advance the anti-China political agenda of the US.”
“Such moves contradict the common aspiration of regional countries to seek peace, cooperation and development, and run counter to the common aspiration of the Filipino people to pursue sound economic recovery and a better life in cooperation with China,” the embassy said.
It added that defense cooperation must “not target against any third party, even less to harm the interests of a third party.”