China asks US to support resumption of talks with Philippines

By Reuters/Ben Blanchard   July 26, 2016 | 01:54 pm GMT+7

Wang Yi told Kerry that China and ASEAN had agreed the dispute should be resolved by direct talks with the parties concerned.

China's foreign minister Wang Yi has asked the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea), following a ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month.

China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U.S. ally Manila won an emphatic legal victory.

China "hopes the United States side talks actual steps to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines, and support the efforts of China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to maintain regional peace and stability", Wang said, according to a foreign ministry statement released on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) greets Chinas Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Vientiane, Laos July 25, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Jorge Silva

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) greets China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a bilateral meeting at the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Vientiane, Laos July 25, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Jorge Silva

China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stoking tensions in the South China Sea and of taking sides in the dispute, charges Washington denies.

Competing claims with China in the vital shipping lane and resource-rich sea are among the most contentious issues for the 10 members of ASEAN, who are pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while fostering ties with an increasingly assertive Beijing.

China's foreign ministry said Wang again urged Tokyo not to intervene in the South China Sea, saying Japan was not a claimant in the disputes and should avoid interfering in up the maritime spats.

"The China-Japan relations are still vulnerable and unsatisfactory," Wang told Fumio Kishida, Japan's minister for foreign affairs.

Japan and allies Australia and the United States issued a joint statement voicing their "strong opposition to any coercive unilateral actions" in the South China Sea and calling on both the Philippines and China to abide by the legally binding ruling.

China scored a diplomatic victory on Monday as Southeast Asian nations dropped any reference to the court ruling in a joint statement in the face of resolute objections from Cambodia, China's closest ASEAN ally.

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US launches quiet diplomacy to ease South China Sea tensions

South China Sea ruling will 'intensify conflict': Chinese envoy

 
 
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