China / Society

Foreign minister encourages a 'dual-track' approach to sea issue

(China Daily and Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-11 05:30

China supports and advocates the "dual-track" approach in resolving the South China Sea issue, a major step that shows the country's earnestness to achieve peaceful solutions to territorial disputes.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks at a news conference after the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, capital of Myanmar, on Saturday.

Wang said that the overall situation in the sea is stable and there is no problem with freedom of navigation in the area.

He said that the "dual-track" approach includes disputes being addressed by countries directly concerned through friendly negotiations in a peaceful way, and peace and stability in the South China Sea being jointly maintained by China and ASEAN countries.

Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said it is the first time that China has openly supported the "dual-track" approach.

He said it shows China's sincerity and willingness to maintain a good relationship between China and ASEAN countries, while keeping disputes over the South China Sea friendly and negotiated.

Also, it leaves no excuse for other countries to interfere in the South China Sea issue, as China has provided a new mechanism for resolving disputes.

Tao Wenzhao, a researcher from the China Academy of Social Sciences, said that through the "dual-track" approach, China elaborated that the South China Sea is stable and disputes exist only between a few countries, so it won't affect the relationship between China and ASEAN countries.

Wang stressed that China does not approve of exaggerating and sensationalizing the so-called tension in the South China Sea, and it calls for vigilance against any hidden motives.

It is the responsibility and obligation of both sides to work together to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, Wang said.

China and ASEAN countries are capable of effectively managing and properly handling specific disputes and maintaining overall peace, stability and cooperation in the region, he added.

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