US warns China of ‘reputation damage’ over Spratly issue

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The United States of America warned the Chinese government that China could face a terrible global reputation if it will not change its stance in the territorial dispute over the Spratly Islands.

“China has a decision to make, If it ignores the decision, it risks doing terrible damage to its reputation, further alienating countries in the region and pushing them even closer to the United States,” US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

The official also added that the United States is serious in assisting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to develop a central coordinating body for its 10 member-countries.

According to Blinken, the ASEAN “might feel some greater strength in numbers” if its members will work together to address issues related to territorial disputes.

“We are looking to ASEAN, as it did most recently at that summit, to express its support for these basic principles and we would like to see that happen when the arbitration decision is issued as well,” he said.

Last month, China asked the U.S. to exercise caution in dealing with issues concerning the West Philippine Sea as it remains firm in its stance.

“As for the US ships which came, I can only suggest they be careful,” said Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun.