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Sources: Vietnam masks its misdoing as it hypes reclamation

By ZHANG YUNBI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-07 11:57

Sources told China Daily that it was Vietnam who pushed for inserting "concerns" over land reclamation into a Sunday communiqué issued by all 10 Southeast Asian countries.

The sources, close to the matters and requesting not to be named, noted that Vietnam is like a thief crying "stop thief" as it has been working on land reclamation in the South China Sea in recent years and boosting its military deployment there.

Aside from concerns by some ASEAN countries about land reclamation, the communiqué released at the 50th annual foreign ministers meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations is "generally positive about the cooperation between China and ASEAN", the sources said.

Speaking on the discussions taking place at the meeting, one of the sources said ASEAN countries gave sufficient endorsement to the achievements of China-ASEAN ties.

In regard to the South China Sea issue, the countries also spoke positively at the meeting of the joint efforts by China and ASEAN in the past year in stabilizing the South China Sea situation, the source added.

The second source told China Daily that the contents involving China within the meeting's joint communiqué are "mostly positive".

Articles 118 to 123 of the communiqué, for instance, gives a sufficient account of the development of China-ASEAN ties, the source added.

The part regarding the South China Sea takes a smaller portion in this year's document in comparison to those of past years, and its tone is generally more positive, the source said.

The source noted that there is differences within ASEAN about the reclamation topic as the communiqué mentioned concerns expressed by "some ministers" on the land reclamation, and the document did not use the term "serious concerns".

"It was a standalone country, not the entire ASEAN, who has concerns over this. The country is Vietnam," the source said.

In recent years, Vietnam has invested a lot in land reclamation, and it has deployed a large number of military there, the third source said.

"Undoubtedly, what Vietnam has done is the trick of a thief crying 'stop thief'," the source added.

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