China urges U.S. to stay out of sea talks
The United States shouldn’t obstruct efforts by China and its neighbors to agree on a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea, China’s ambassador said Monday as President Donald Trump prepared for his first official visit to Asia.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai said the U.S. has no territorial claim in those waters and should let countries in the region manage their disputes in a “friendly and effective way.”
Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea has drawn criticism from Washington, which says it has a national interest in freedom of navigation in sea lanes critical for world trade. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this month said China’s “provocative actions” challenge international law and norms.
Cui implied that Washington was making negotiations more difficult.
“I think it would certainly be better if others including the United States would not try to interfere in this constructive process, would not try to create obstacles to early agreement on the [code of conduct],” he said at the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
Balinese religious devotees visit the Besakih temple, with Mount Agung volcano in the background, in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, on Monday. Indonesia authorities lowered the alert status for volcano from the highest level on Sunday, after a significant decrease in activity in recent days.