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Beijing voices unease with India over S China Sea

Beijing, May 12
Irked by India voicing its concern over the tensions in the South China Sea, China today said Indian people need "not worry too much" about the issue. "I have so many times stated China's position on South China Sea. I wish to tell Indian people that they may not worry too much about the current situation in South China Sea (SCS)," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today.

Hua's remarks came in response to India voicing its "concern" over the recent developments in the South China Sea where Chinese and Vietnamese ships are locked in a tense standoff. China's oil rig's attempts for oil exploration in the waters of disputed islands claimed by both countries have escalated tensions. "We have been following with concern recent developments in the South China Sea. We believe that maintenance of peace, stability, growth and prosperity in the region is of vital interest to the international community," a spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry had said in New Delhi last week.

Hua said China and the Association of South East Asian Nations have made a Declaration of the Code of Conduct (DOC) for the peace and stability of the SCS. "We hope relevant parties will work with same direction towards China and make relentless efforts to this end," she said. China was critical of reactions by the US and Japan over the SCS last week. China objected to India's ONGC taking part in the drilling in the area specified by Vietnam which Beijing termed as disputed. Both Vietnam and the Philippines together with Malaysia and Brunei have serious disputes with China in the SCS and have been pressing ASEAN to take a firm stand against Beijing on the issue. China also objected to the Philippines arresting 11 Chinese fishermen in the disputed waters.

On ASEAN leaders' statement expressing serious concern over the tensions, Hua said the SCS issue is not a problem between China and the ASEAN countries.

"We have important consensus with ASEAN countries as to maintain peace stability in SCS. We believe that is in the interest of all parties requires common efforts of all. We are ready to work with ASEAN to implement DOC. We are opposed to certain counties jeopardising the cooperation between ASEAN and China making use of SCS," she said.

Hua said Vietnam and China are holding talks to defuse the situation. "The diplomatic channel between Vietnam and China remains smooth. There had been 14 rounds of negotiations. Now I believe there are more negotiations between China and Vietnam," she said. PTI





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