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(Opinion) Can tensions over S.China Sea derail Sino-US ties?

2015-05-18 08:44:00       source:Global Times

By Zhang Yi

May 18, 2015

"US Secretary of State John Kerry was in China over the weekend for talks on a range of topics including trade and security with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Unsurprisingly, the South China Sea issue was where he picked a fight. The bone of contention was China's construction in some reefs under Chinese administration in the South China Sea. Kerry stated Washington's concerns and urged China to ease tensions in the region, while Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is committed to settling disputes through peaceful means but it has a legitimate right to build on its own territory.

One articulation of US interests in the South China Sea is to maintain its dominant role in the region at a time of its pivot to Asia strategy. It has said it has no position on the overlapping territorial claims by China and others, but has resorted to a claim of "freedom of navigation" to intervene in the area."

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