Kerry, Wang meet amid South China Sea tensions

2015-08-05 19:31
Asean (AP)

Asean (AP)

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Kuala Lumpur - US State Secretary John Kerry said he had a "good meeting" on Wednesday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, amid tensions over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Kerry was later to meet with foreign ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), assembled in Kuala Lumpur this week.

Several Asean members have expressed concern over Chinese construction to build up shoals or expand islets in areas disputed with neighbouring countries.

"The US shares the frequently expressed desire of Asean members to preserve the peace and stability in the South China Sea," Kerry told the Asean ministers.

He did not give further details on his meeting with Wang, beyond calling it "good".

"We want to ensure the security of critical sea lanes and fishing grounds," he added. "We want to see that disputes in the area are managed peacefully and on the basis of international laws."

On Tuesday, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario condemned the Chinese "massive reclamation" projects over the past year as "aggressive".

Chinese claims in the maritime areas also overlap with those of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Talking to journalists during a stopover on his way to the talks this week, Wang said freezing China's construction projects in the area was "unrealistic and will not work in practice".

Beijing has defended the build-up of outposts, which include apparent landing strips, as important for research such as meteorology.

Read more on:    asean  |  wang yi  |  john kerry  |  china  |  us

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