China not aware of plan to dis­cuss South China Sea

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING: China is not aware of any plan to dis­cuss the dis­puted South China Sea at an Asia Pa­cific lead­ers’ sum­mit next week in Manila, a se­nior Chi­nese diplo­mat said yes­ter­day, amid ten­sions be­tween China and the Philip­pines over the wa­ters. For its part, the Philip­pines said it had no plan to raise the is­sue at the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) sum­mit from Nov. 17 to 19.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is to at­tend the meet­ing of APEC, which in­cludes the United States, China, Ja­pan, South Korea, In­done­sia and Canada and to­gether ac­counts for 57 per­cent of global pro­duc­tion and 46.5 per­cent of world trade.

“Ev­ery­one knows that APEC is pri­mar­ily about dis­cussing trade and fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion in the Asia Pa­cific,” Chi­nese Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Li Baodong told re­porters in an­swer to a ques­tion.

“As far as I know, at this year’s sum­mit, there are no plans to dis­cuss the South China Sea.”

China has over­lap­ping claims with Viet­nam, the Philip­pines, Malaysia, Tai­wan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 tril­lion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

A sum­mit of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions last week, at­tended by both the United States and China, failed to pro­duce a fi­nal state­ment be­cause the del­e­ga­tions could not agree on whether to men­tion the South China Sea dis­pute.

China has been par­tic­u­larly an­gered by a case lodged by the Philip­pines with an ar­bi­tra­tion court in the Nether­lands over the South China Sea. China says it will nei­ther rec­og­nize nor par­tic­i­pate in the case. Philip­pine For­eign Sec­re­tary Al­bert del Rosario met Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi in Manila for the first high-level talks be­tween the two neigh­bors since 2011.

“They ex­pressed hope the con­tentious is­sues will not be raised (at APEC) and we said we will en­deavor on our side not to raise con­tentious mar­itime is­sues,” Charles Jose, Manila’s for­eign min­istry spokesman, told a news con­fer­ence. He said Manila would not raise the South China Sea is­sue be­cause of the ar­bi­tra­tion case in The Hague and be­cause APEC was “not the proper fo­rum”. — Reuters

BEI­JING: Mon­go­lian Pres­i­dent El­beg­dorj Tsakhia, right, walks with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing a wel­come cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing yes­ter­day. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.