Faced with scathing criticism from the US of its expansive claims over the disputed South China Sea at a UN Security Council meeting presided over by India, China said on Wednesday that the high-power body of the United Nations is not a “suitable place” to discuss the contentious issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired the high-level open debate on maritime security attended virtually by Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh.
The US and China had clashed at the meeting where a presidential statement on maritime security that recognised the importance of enhancing international and regional cooperation to counter threats to maritime safety and security was unanimously adopted on Monday. China, a member of the permanent five of the UNSC, backed the resolution. “The Security Council is not a suitable place to discuss the South China Sea issue,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry here said in its first reaction to the high-level UNSC meeting on maritime security.
The open debate on Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case for International Cooperation’ was one of the three signature events being hosted by India during its month-long Presidency of the powerful 15-nation UN body. “On August 9, the UN Security Council held an open meeting on maritime security at the initiative of India, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council for this month, and formally adopted a previously agreed presidential statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response to a query from.