World

China wants stability in disputed waters

BANGKOK: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday that Beijing wanted to maintain stability in the South China Sea as it seeks alliances in the region amid tensions in the disputed waters.

The United States has criticised China for disregarding international law by the construction and militarisation of artificial islands in the South China Sea, undermining regional stability.

China claims most of the energy-rich sea through which about US$5 trillion (S$6.8 trillion) in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

Thailand is not a claimant state in the dispute and has maintained a neutral stance on the topic.

Addressing the South China Sea issue, Mr Wang, on an official visit to Bangkok, told reporters China would like to "maintain stability in the South China Sea, abiding by the terms that have been agreed on the Declaration of Conduct and Code of Conduct in near future".

China and South-east Asian countries agreed in May to a framework for a long-proposed code of conduct for the disputed waters.

Mr Wang's visit comes ahead of a regional meeting of South-east Asian countries in Manila next month.- REUTERS

South China SeaChinaunited states