NEW DELHI: China today warned countries which are "outside" the region not to "meddle" in the South China Sea issue, saying "muscle flexing" will not be good for regional security.
"Countries who are from outside or have nothing to do with the region should not meddle into these issues. This will make it worse," Le Yuchneg, Chinese Ambassador to India, said in an apparent message to the United States and India.
He was speaking here at the Deccan Herald's Dialogue on 'The Asia Pacific Country: India and Big Power Engagement'.
His stand was countered by BJP leader Ram Madhav who batted for freedom of navigation saying as the Indian Ocean does not belong to India and is shared by other countries of the world, similar is the case with South China Sea.
"The way China has propelled the global economy in this century, it should also propel peace in the region," he said.
The BJP leader said instead of Asia-Pacific, the region should be addressed as Indo-Pacific since its a broader term.
Pitching for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, India has favoured peaceful resolution of the dispute and has economic interests in hydro-carbon rich sea.
Le reiterated Chinese claim over the Spratly, an archipelago which is a focal point of the dispute in the hydrocarbon rich sea, and said the islands were reclaimed from the Japanese after the Second World War and there was no claimant over it until 1970.
"After World War II, the Chinese reclaimed the islands occupied by the Japanese. It was for a long time after the World War II, no one challenged China's territorial claims over these islands," he said.
"...Countries who are not from the region who flex their muscles, this is not good for regional security. China will continue to commit herself for peace in the region and the common sea," he said.
Le said China is ready for negotiations and has already signed the 'Declaration of Conduct in the South China' with ASEAN nations which lays down norms of peaceful resolution to the issue.
Deccan Herald's Editor-in-Chief Tilak Kumar said a more accurate description of the century would be the 'Asia-Pacific century' because there are other countries on the Pacific rim which will also have sway over the world in all areas in the coming decades.
"The US dominance as an economic, military and technological power will continue in the foreseeable future. Apart from China and India, there are other countries on the Pacific coast which are important in different ways. Japan is the world's third major economic power.
"Russia is a nuclear power and resource-rich. ASEAN is a dynamic trade bloc which will soon be a more integrated economic group. South Korea is an economic powerhouse.
"Brazil and Indonesia are major developing countries. The economic, political and strategic profiles and the mutual relations of these and other countries of the region will shape the 21st century," he said.