BEIJING - China's state-run media ramped up condemnation of the United States on Monday over tensions in the South China Sea, with the Communist Party's top newspaper telling Washington to "Shut up" and charging it with "fanning flames" of division in the region.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry's over the weekend condemned a US State Department statement that said Washington was closely monitoring territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and that China's establishment of a military garrison for the area risks "further escalating tensions in the region".
The mosaic of rival territorial claims in the South China Sea has become Asia's worst potential military flashpoint.
Beijing has said its disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other southeast Asian claimants should be settled one-on-one, and it has bristled at US backing for a multilateral approach to solving the overlapping claims.
"We are entirely entitled to shout at the United States, 'Shut up'. How can meddling by other countries be tolerated in matters that are within the scope of Chinese sovereignty?," said a commentary in the overseas edition of the People's Daily, an offshoot of the ruling Chinese Communist Party's top newspaper.