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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Official says US 'should adhere' to int'l law

By Hu Yinan and Wang Yan (China Daily)

15:31, January 07, 2012

BEIJING - Attempts to resolve the South China Sea issue through the intervention of an external "referee" won't work, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remark as US President Barack Obama reaffirmed Washington's growing focus on the Asia-Pacific as well as its military's "enhanced presence, power projection and deterrence" in the region.

Beijing is firmly against such moves as they "significantly undermine" peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and jeopardize the common interests of all regional countries, Yi said during an online interview on Friday.

The interview, the second in a series with department leaders of the ministry, was co-hosted by the websites of People's Daily Online, China Daily, China News and the Foreign Ministry.

Reiterating China's stance that disputes in the South China Sea should be dealt with through negotiation between the parties directly involved, Yi said the issue of free navigation in the sea, which Washington says it is committed to protecting, is a false proposition.

The prosperity of East Asian economies and flourishing trade in the South China Sea, where one-third of the world's seaborne commerce passes, prove that there is no problem with freedom of navigation in the region, he said.

The existence of maritime disputes is not a reason for bringing up the issue of freedom of navigation, he added.

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wende at 2012-01-0771.255.81.*
Just say China is concerned with the issue of islands and shoal and not with the innocent passage of ships on commercial purpose. US and claimants are muddling the sea with the sovereignty of the islands. Just as US wants Israel to negotiate with Palestine on one-on-one basis, South China Sea should not be any different.

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