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Russia, Cambodia offer support

By Zhao Huanxin in Ulaanbaatar and An Baijie in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-07-16 07:51

Russian and Cambodian leaders voiced support for China on the South China Sea issue during a summit on Friday, and Beijing said it was willing to hold talks with an envoy of the Philippine government.

Moscow respects Beijing's stance on the South China Sea, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said while meeting with Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The countries involved should resolve disputes through bilateral negotiations, Medvedev added.

Russia opposes interference by other countries in South China Sea disputes, and the issue should not be internationalized, he said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told Li that Cambodia will continue to support dialogue as a means for countries to resolve such disputes.

Cambodia would like to work jointly with relevant parties to maintain a friendly and cooperative relationship between China and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he said.

Li said China will remain committed to resolving disputes through negotiations and consultations and to safeguarding peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Friday that China welcomes the Philippine president's reported decision to send an envoy to Beijing for talks on the South China Sea issue.

"China has never closed the door on dialogue and negotiation with the Philippines," Lu said during a regular news conference.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly said on Thursday that he would send former president Fidel Ramos to China. Ramos maintained close ties with China during his term as president from 1992 to 1998.

"War ... is not an option. So what is the other side? Peaceful talks," Duterte said at a college alumni meeting that was also attended by Ramos, Agence France-Presse reported.

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