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China’s been aggressor against India; must be held accountable for failing to play by rules: US diplomat

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Washington, October 21

China has been an aggressor against India along the Himalayan border, a top American diplomat nominated by President Joe Biden as his next envoy to Beijing has told lawmakers, stating that the US must hold the Chinese government accountable for failing to play by the rules.

Nicholas Burns told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that the US would challenge China where it must, including when Beijing takes actions that run counter to America’s values and interests; threaten the security of the United States or its allies and partners; or undermine the rules-based international order.

“Beijing has been an aggressor against India along their Himalayan border; against Vietnam, the Philippines, and others in the South China Sea; against Japan in the East China Sea; and has launched an intimidation campaign against Australia and Lithuania,” Burns said.

China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

Beijing is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade. PTI

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