South China Sea on agenda at an­nual China-US di­a­logue

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEI­JING—Chi­nese State Coun­cilor Yang Jiechi and U.S. Sec­re­tary of States John Kerry will dis­cuss the South China Sea is­sue at an an­nual di­a­logue next week, an of­fi­cial said Thurs­day.

Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Zheng Zeguang made the re­marks at a fo­rum on the eighth China-U.S. Strate­gic and Eco­nomic Di­a­logue, which will be held in Bei­jing on Mon­day and Tues­day. “The Chi­nese and U.S. sides will ex­change can­did, in-depth views on im­por­tant and sen­si­tive is­sues of shared con­cern,” said Zheng.

Zheng un­der­scored that the South China Sea is­lands have been China’s ter­ri­tory since an­cient times, adding that China is en­ti­tled to safe­guard its own ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty and le­git­i­mate mar­itime rights.

“We are com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the South China Sea, and mak- ing con­tin­u­ous ef­forts to con­trol dif­fer­ences through di­a­logue and solve prob­lems peace­fully through ne­go­ti­a­tion and con­sul­ta­tion,” said the vice for­eign min­is­ter.

Zheng said the United States, which is not a claimant in the South China Sea dis­putes, has pledged not to take sides on is­sues in­volv­ing ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty.

“We hope the U.S. side will keep its prom­ise,” Zheng said, urg­ing the United States to make judge­ments in ac­cor­dance with facts rather than fa­vor­ing its al­lies.

“I be­lieve the United States can play a con­struc­tive role in main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the South China Sea and help­ing cool down the is­sue — if the coun­try can honor its word and stop all provoca­tive moves aimed at China’s sovereignty and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests,” said the Chi­nese of­fi­cial.

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