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International relations

China calls US 'biggest driver' of South China Sea militarization

Sparks fly at East Asia Summit as Japan's Motegi echoes Washington's concerns

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting online on Sept. 9. (Photo courtesy of the ASEAN Secretariat / Kusuma Pandu Wijaya)

NEW YORK/TOKYO -- The U.S. has become the "biggest driver of the militarization of the South China Sea," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday, hitting back at Washington's recent swipes and sanctions against Beijing's role in the disputed waters.

Wang made the remarks on the first day of the East Asia Summit, where his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, was also present. He blasted the U.S. for flaunting its force in the South China Sea and escalating risks of regional conflicts for political gain, according to a transcript published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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