Internationalising South China Sea issue complicating Sino-US relationship: Chinese analysts

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Beijing, Sept 27 (ANI): The move of US President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders for a peaceful resolution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and America's strong intentions to expand its influence in the region, is a challenge to the bilateral negotiation mechanisms in solving the territorial disputes, according to Chinese analysts.

China Daily quoted Fu Mengzi, a professor at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, as saying that China would not tolerate consistent interference of irrelevant parties to inject themselves into the negotiations, which would ultimately complicate the issues.China will try its best to peacefully solve the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. If the US were a leader in Asia as Obama described, it should encourage more bilateral negotiations, rather than internationalising the issue," Fu added.

Shi Yinhong, a senior scholar in American studies at the Beijing-based Renmin University of China, backed Fu and said that most territorial disputes in the world have been resolved through bilateral negotiations, and this policy should be maintained in this issue as well.

China is willing to negotiate with individual nations about the disputes, but does not accept negotiations with ASEAN as a whole not to mention US participation, which is inconsistent with international laws," he added.

During the meeting with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday, Obama said: "As president, I've made it clear that the US intends to play a leadership role in Asia."

According to a briefing of the meeting, Obama and ASEAN leaders including Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, agreed on the importance of peaceful resolutions of disputes, freedom of navigation, regional stability, and respect for international law, including in the South China Sea.

Earlier this week, China expressed its concern over the US-ASEAN joint statement, voicing opposition to the internationalisation of the South China Sea disputes.

The relationship between China and America deteriorated in the recent months due to an increasingly aggressive interference of the US in Asia, including remarks by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton alluding to a "national interest" in the South China Sea disputes, the paper reports. (ANI)

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