A former Chinese diplomat has blamed US intervention as the key factor in escalating tensions over the South China Sea disputes in a rare article published in both US and Chinese media outlets ahead of an imminent ruling of international arbitration over the disagreements. In an over 9,000-word article titled South China Sea: How We Got to This Stage , Fu Ying, Chairperson of Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, gave a detailed historical account to illustrate that Beijing’s sovereignty in the South China Sea has been recognised through the years until the United States increased its intervention in 2009 after US president Barack Obama assumed office. China brands international court hearings passing judgement on its claims in South China Sea an ‘orchestrated show’ The Chinese diplomat also highlighted the country’s relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a key regional player which both China and the US have been trying to enlist support from. The “golden era” of close ties between China and Asean in the 1990s ended in 2010, when claimant countries began to challenge Beijing’s maritime assertions, she said. The article, which Fu has co-written with Wu Shicun, President of the National Institute of the South China Sea Studies, was published in National Interest , an American bi-monthly international affairs magazine, on Monday, and in China Newsweek on Wednesday. China to build up atoll in contested South China Sea, source says The piece was published amid rising tensions between the two nations following respective Chinese and US drills in the South China Sea over the last week. Both Beijing and Washington have been trying to drum up support from neighbouring countries in the region. Fu said tension started to build up in 2009 after Obama took office and caused a shift in US strategic policy to the Asia-Pacific region, which has “obviously contributed to the confidence of the other claimants in the South China Sea to challenge China.” There was no dispute over China’s ownership of the Spratly Islands, or Nansha Islands, before 1930s, said the writers. In 1947, China renamed a total of 159 islands, islets and sandbanks, including those of the Spratly Islands, during the rule of the Kuomintang party’s Nationalist government, said the article. The US made no objection against such claims, which proved that Beijing’s stand was recognised and acknowledged, it argued. US Navy carries out patrol in disputed part of South China Sea after PLA wraps up combat drills in the area But the discovery of abundant oil reserves in the Nansha waters in late 1960s and the introduction of international arrangements concerning the exclusive economic zone or the continental shelf, such as the Convention on the Continental Shelf and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, provided fresh incentives for other claimants to covet and grab Nansha Islands, it claimed. The writers said they hoped the article would “help those concerned about the disputes see the bigger picture and get to the heart of why things have happened that way,” and it would serve as a warning against further escalation of tensions.