China’s state news agency accused the U.S. on Saturday of having a “pirate-style sense of insecurity” in response to recent comments from Washington expressing concern over Beijing’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

The Xinhua News Agency took issue with remarks by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday that Chinese land reclamation and construction work on disputed South China Sea islands were “fueling greater anxiety within the region about China’s intentions.”

Washington said it will continue to raise its concerns with China and urged all parties to avoid destabilizing activities.

“As we’ve said many times, we encourage all claimants to pursue peaceful and diplomatic approaches to maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea,” Psaki told reporters at a daily briefing.

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