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A neutral US helpful to stability in S China Sea

By Shen Dingli (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:43, May 04, 2012

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently declared that the United States would not take sides on the competing sovereignty claims to land features in the South China Sea, which had been confirmed by Philippine officials. This is a positive signal and is beneficial to the cooling of the South China Sea issue.

Recently, the sovereignty dispute over the South China Sea became serious. The related claimants should directly negotiate and reach a consensus in a peaceful manner based on the spirit of seeking truth from facts.

The Philippines constantly gave offense to the sovereignty of China and even sent warships to prevent Chinese fishermen from operating in Chinese waters. Analysts said that the reason why some countries are so unbridled may be related with the adjusted geo-strategy of the United States.

The United States had signed a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the Philippines. The treaty is defensive rather than aggressive in nature. It is a basic fact that China owns the sovereignty of the Huangyan Island, which China had declared to the world and the international community also approved.

It also is a basic fact that the sovereignty of the Philippines does not extend to the Huangyan Island, which is accepted by the international community. The US-Philippines MDT stated that the United States only has the obligation to defend the territory of Philippines rather than Chinese land coveted by the Philippines.

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