Talks highlight South China Sea issues
Updated: 2016-02-25 03:42
By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington and LI XIAOKUN in Beijing(China Daily)
Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State John Kerry give a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington on Tuesday. SUSAN WALSH / ASSOCIATED PRESS
Non-militarization of the South China Sea is not the responsibility of China alone, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday in Washington, urging the United States to refrain from close-up military reconnaissance in the region.
At a joint news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry after their talk, Wang said, “China, the United States and the ASEAN countries have all committed to non-militarization. Non-militarization is not the responsibility of one party alone. It’s something that we share.”
Wang is visiting the US from Tuesday to Thursday. The trip comes as recent Chinese military deployments on some of its islands are making headlines in international media.
“We don’t hope to see any more close-up military reconnaissance, or the dispatch of missile destroyers or strategic bombers to the South China Sea,” Wang said, an apparent reference to the high-profile US presence there.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chun-ying urged the media on Wednesday not to “selectively pump up or ignore things” when reporting on the issue.
“When you pay attention to what China is deploying, do you also pay attention to other countries that have over the years, on Chinese islands they have occupied, deployed many radars and advanced weaponry?” she said at a daily news briefing.
Wang’s visit also brought encouraging progress. He and Kerry signaled on Tuesday that an agreement is expected soon on a UN resolution concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Jan 6 nuclear test and Feb 7 rocket launch.
Both Beijing and Washington “do not recognize the DPRK as a nuclear weapon state”, Wang said, adding that the resolution, when passed, will effectively limit further progress of the DPRK’s nuclear program.
He and Kerry agreed that the goal is to go back to negotiations. Wang talked about China’s new basic proposal of pursuing, on parallel tracks, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the replacement of the Korean armistice with a peace agreement.
Wang said he and Kerry feel that the situation on the Korean Peninsula needs to be monitored very closely in the next two months.