China-Viet­nam meet­ing axed

New Straits Times - - World -

MANILA: A sched­uled meet­ing be­tween the for­eign min­is­ters of China and Viet­nam was can­celled on the side­lines of a re­gional gath­er­ing, Chi­nese em­bassy of­fi­cials said, amid grow­ing ten­sion be­tween the two coun­tries over the South China Sea.

Viet­nam had held out for lan­guage that noted con­cern about is­land-build­ing and crit­i­cised mil­i­tari­sa­tion in South China Sea in the com­mu­nique on Sun­day from Asean for­eign min­is­ters.

Viet­nam has emerged as the most vo­cal op­po­nent of China’s claims in the wa­ter­way.

The Chi­nese em­bassy of­fi­cials gave no rea­son for the can­cel­la­tion of the meet­ing sched­uled for Mon­day here be­tween China’s Wang Yi and Viet­nam’s Pham Binh Minh.

But, state me­dia in Viet­nam said the min­is­ters had held a “pull aside” meet­ing and ex­changed views. It showed pic­tures of them shak­ing hands.

Although the lan­guage in the Asean com­mu­nique re­flected that in pre­vi­ous years, some coun­tries pur­su­ing deeper busi­ness ties with Bei­jing, such as Cam­bo­dia and the Philip­pines, had ar­gued for drop­ping it. Reuters

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