Beijing: China on Sunday asked "other countries"
to stay away from its maritime dispute with Vietnam over oil
exploration in South China Sea in view of recent agreement
between Beijing and Hanoi to settle the differences through
"The fact that China and Vietnam have agreed to settle
maritime disputes through negotiations has nothing to do with
a third party.
"We expect the third party to respect the efforts by the
countries concerned to resolve the disputes through
negotiations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin
said at a daily briefing here.
Liu`s comments came in the backdrop of the Philippines
expressing reservations over the latest China-Vietnam joint
statement and called for a multilateral approach, rather than
a bilateral agreement, to resolve disputes concerning the
South China Sea.
"China-Philippines maritime disputes can only be resolved
through direct negotiations between China and the Philippines,
a stance the Philippines is quite clear about," Liu said.
He was referring to the joint statement issued at the end
of the visit of Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu
Trong`s from October 11 to 15.
The statement said both countries reaffirmed their
political will and determination to settle maritime issues
through negotiations and friendly consultations.
China had also objected to ONGC Videsh`s oil exploration
in two Vietnamese blocks, which India brushed away saying it
was very much under the international law.
China claims sovereignty over South China Sea, a key
global trading route, where its professed ownership of the
Spratly archipelago overlaps with claims by Vietnam, the
Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.