Be neutral on South China Sea, China tells US

Beijing, Sep 8 (IANS) China on Thursday said that US President Barack Obama should be neutral in Beijing’s maritime disputes with its neighbours.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urged the US to play a ‘constructive’ role after Obama earlier on Thursday defended the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitrage at The Hague as ‘binding’.

Hua said China hopes for positive, genuine and constructive efforts from the US to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region.

He insisted that The Hague Court, whose July ruling favoured the Philippines, does not have jurisdiction over the case, making its sentence ‘invalid and illegal’.

The spokesperson claimed that the US authorities had said they won’t take sides in territorial disputes and would support talks between the concerned parties.

Hua also lauded the agreement between China and Asean to peacefully settle conflicts and facilitate dialogue through a code of conduct (under negotiation since 2010), during a bilateral meet in Laos on Wednesday.

–IANS

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