In a tense escalation of rhetoric, China has accused the United States of exacerbating tensions in the South China Sea. The accusations came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured an “ironclad” commitment to the Philippines, extending a security deal to cover potential attacks along the Philippine coast. China, declaring its actions in the area “legitimate and lawful,” vehemently opposes the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, viewing it as a threat to peace and an act of hegemony. This geopolitical standoff underscores a broader international debate on sovereignty, freedom of navigation, and the balance of power in the region.

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