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Chinese FM: confrontation not conducive to solving South China Sea issues


09:36, June 28, 2013

BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that confrontations related to South China Sea issues cannot lead to the resolution of such issues, calling on all involved parties to solve disputes through negotiation.

"The clear and consistent position upheld by China regarding the Nansha Islands will not change and will not be likely to change," Wang said on the sidelines of the second annual World Peace Forum, which was held in Beijing.

Wang said that the recent disputes concerning the South China Sea were not started by China. However, some country illegally grounded warship and constructed buildings on the reef within China's territorial sovereignty, and brought bilateral disputes to the UN arbitral tribunal, which further complicated the situation.

"To deal with such provocations, which go against principles endorsed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), China has every reason to make necessary responses," Wang said.

Wang said China has the patience to resolve the dispute through direct dialogue and consultation with concerned parties according to rules set by the DOC.

"We proposed shelving differences and seeking joint development before the dispute can be fully resolved," Wang said.

Meanwhile, Wang said China has always remained open to discussions regarding the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), adding that China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have agreed to adopt the COC on the basis of a consensus reached by all relevant parties.

"This is a promise that China has made to the ten ASEAN member states and will live up to," Wang stressed.

"It is essential that all parties exercise self-restraint in keeping with the spirit of the DOC," Wang said, pledging that China will work with ASEAN member states to promote the adoption of the COC.

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