China urges outsiders to stay out of dispute

08:14, June 15, 2011      

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China has called outside powers, including the United States, to stay out of the dispute between China and some of the neighbors over resource explorations in the South China Sea.

Hong Lei, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing Tuesday that China is consistently devoted to a "peaceful solution through bilateral negotiations" with the neighbors. Currently, Vietnam and the Philippines are involved in the dispute with China.

The Chinese spokesperson added that countries in the region should do more for peace and stability in the region, rather than resorting to the use of force, or threatening to use of force.

"This is also what we agreed in 2002," Hong said, adding that China was willing to hold direct bilateral talks with the neighbors embroiled in the South China Sea disputes based on the 2002 agreement.

However, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said this week that his country needed help from the United States to press its case over China. Also this week, U.S. Senator Jim Webb called for the White House to condemn China.

A vast majority of Chinese Internet readers and bloggers have written on popular Chinese websites these days, backing Beijing to resolve the South China Sea dispute with the Philippines and Vietnam through direct talks.

Vietnam, which is directly involved in the South China Sea dispute, held that there should be no interference from a third party, Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh said on June 3 at a regional security dialogue in Singapore.

Vietnam on Monday staged a live-fire naval drill in the waters of the South China Sea.

China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) signed the Declaration on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea on Nov 4, 2002, agreeing on "favorable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution to differences and disputes among countries concerned".

"The recent situation has been caused by some nations' unilateral moves and irresponsible statements, which could make the issue complicated," Hong Lei said, adding that China is defending its own legitimate rights and interests.

By People's Daily Online
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