China calls for restraint on South China Sea issue
Beijing: China has called on countries involved in the South China Sea issue to avoid aggravating conflicts, as Manila continues to add fuel to its maritime dispute with Beijing.
The call was given by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi while addressing a high-level forum between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok on Friday, the China Daily reported on Saturday.
"We hope the relevant countries can also uphold this spirit, walk face to face with us and not take any further actions that might complicate matters. And especially not misjudge the situation and remake mistakes," Wang said.
The minister was speaking at the forum, which was part of celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership between China and ASEAN.
Manila recently said that the country`s arbitral proceedings against China`s territorial claims in the South China Sea were officially under way.
China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei are embroiled in the dispute in the South China Sea over territory, sovereignty and two island chains claimed in whole or in part by them.
China claims the largest portion of territory, saying its right to the area comes from 2,000 years of history.
Vietnam hotly disputes China`s account, saying Beijing never claimed sovereignty over the islands until the 1940s.
The other major claimant is the Philippines. Malaysia and Brunei also lay claim to territory in the South China Sea that they say falls within their exclusive economic zones.
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