China accuses US of sowing discord in South China Sea

BEIJING (AP) — The Trump administration’s rejection of broad Chinese claims to much of the South China Sea is being seen in Asia as an election-year political move, with some appealing for calm amid fears of greater tensions. China accused the U.S. of trying to sow discord between China and the Southeast Asian countries with which it has long-standing territorial disputes. The Chinese Embassy in Washington says a statement issued by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliberately distorts the facts and disregards the efforts of China and the others to achieve peace and stability in the South China Sea. Pompeo said the U.S. now regards virtually all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognized waters to be illegitimate.