The United States is calling Republic of Korea (South Korea) to speak out against China’s aggressive behavior in advancing claims. “For China to assert its claims through large-scale land reclamation, through the deployment of paramilitary forces or military forces that its neighbors see as threatening, is inconsistent with the kind of region that you and I want to live in,” US State Department Assistant Secretary Daniel R. Russel said in a conference hosted by Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Korea Foundation in Washington, DC.
“The role for the Republic of Korea is the role of a major stakeholder in the international order. It’s the role of a country of laws. It’s the role of a trading nation. It’s a role of a country that has flourished under the international system,” he said.
“The fact that, like the United States, the Republic of Korea is not a claimant, in my view, gives Seoul all the more reason to speak out because it is speaking not in self-interest, but speaking in support of universal principles and the rule of law,” Rusell added as quoted by Korean Yonhap News Agency.
He emphasized, during the Korea Going Forward Conference, that a nation needs “to lead, not just with money, but with a commitment to universal values—by standing up for what we believe, even when that’s hard; and by sending our young people into the world to teach and to help others, even when there’s risk. How can we help to repair the world?”