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China urges US to look to history before moving on South China Sea dispute

By An Baijie | | Updated: 2017-02-07 23:39

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday urged the US to look back at the history of World War II while handling the South China Sea disputes.

China urges US to look to history before moving on South China Sea dispute

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop meet the press in Canberra, Australian, on February 7, 2017.  [Photo/Xinhua]

The Cairo Declaration - the outline of the Allied position against Japan during World War II - and the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender Issued at Potsdam, ruled that Japan must return the Chinese territory it took during the war, including the Nansha Islands, to the Chinese people, Wang said.

He made the remarks at a news conference after meeting with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop on Tuesday in Canberra, the Australian capital. He was asked to comment on whether China and US are heading toward military conflict in the South China Sea.

Wang said that after World War II, with the assistance from the US government, China restored its sovereignty over the Nansha Islands which used to be occupied by Japan. Some of China's neighbors illegally occupied some of the islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands afterward, which led to the so-called South China Sea disputes, he added.

The minister pointed out that China has insisted that the disputes should be resolved through dialogue on the basis of historical facts and international law.

With the efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the South China Sea issue has been brought back on track with peaceful dialogue, Wang said. He added that outsiders should support the countries’ efforts to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's comment of stressing a diplomatic push in the South China Sea dispute is "the right choice for outside countries", Wang said, adding that it is also in line with the stance of China and ASEAN nations.

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