Last Friday, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton spoke at an Asian security forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, criticizing Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. Clinton called on China to put an end ongoing territorial disputes with Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and other regions through international consultation. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized Clinton’s comment as an attack, following what China feels is a growing trend of anti-Chinese sentiments from the United States.

Chinese officials say they favor a bilateral approach, giving control to put parties over the outcomes. Though attempts of resolving the disputes have gone for years, no long term agreements have been made.

Within 48 hours of Clinton’s speech, U.S. and South Korean warships began military exercises in the East and Yellow seas, leaving fear that Chinese-U.S. tensions are only rising.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in response to both Clinton’s comments and U.S. naval intervention will only make already tainted relations "worse and more difficult to resolve."

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