Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Cool heads must prevail in the South China Sea territorial dispute

Sammy Stanley | 11 July, 2016, 15:39

The United States and China share common interests in keeping the peace and stability in the South China Sea and the United States supports countries in the region to make continuous efforts to peacefully resolve disputes through diplomatic means, Kerry added.

But he said the dispute over sovereignty would not be solved for many years, describing it as a "generational issue", and that rival claimants must in the meantime work cooperatively. Meanwhile, China has said that does not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal and maintains that it has "indisputable sovereignty' over the region".

China is now conducting military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the north of the South China Sea, while US Navy officials said yesterday that US destroyers had been patrolling the Spratly Islands to the south.

The United States, meantime, urged respect for the decision an global arbitration court is expected to hand down next week on territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi indicated China's frustrations with the process.

The Philippines, under the Aquino administration, filed a legal challenge with a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague contesting China's claims to almost all of the strategically vital sea.

On Tuesday, Beijing sought to downplay fears of conflict in the South China Sea after an influential state-run newspaper said Beijing should prepare for military confrontation. It has truly undermined the rule of law.

Recently, the spokesmen of China's Foreign Ministry has time and again reaffirmed China'sadherence to dialogue and consultation in settling the South China Sea issue.

He also said China and the Philippines had agreed not to make any "provocative statements", following the release of the ruling.

The UN tribunal is set to issue its ruling on the Philippines's case against China's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea on July 12.

Beijing's territorial claims to the islands partly overlap those of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, while Beijing also has ongoing territorial disputes in the area with Malaysia and Brunei. "But the USA could use it to impose more pressure on China, causing more tensions in the South China Sea (SCS)", the editorial said.

Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Affairs, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, told People's Daily that US's conclusion that China is unwilling to negotiate in good faith is a mistake.

Ban, whose second term as United Nations secretary-general runs out at the end of the year, said, "The world will look to China to complement its remarkable economic progress by giving citizens a full say and a role in the political life of their country".

State Department official Colin Willett says the USA will not hesitate to defend its security interests and honor commitments to Asia-Pacific allies.

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