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Diplomat: South China Sea issue not on APEC agenda

By Zhang Yunbi | yowaldo.com | Updated: 2017-11-03 13:16

The South China Sea issue is not on the agenda of the upcoming 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting, and is not within the topics of the meeting's discussions, Vice-Foreign Minister Li Baodong has said Friday.

"Various parties have consensus in this regard," Li said in response to a question on the issue at a media briefing in Beijing about President Xi Jinping attending the meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, and paying a state visit to Vietnam and Laos.

China hopes that the meeting will focus on economic cooperation of the Asia-Pacific region and could achieve some progress in areas such as development and inclusive growth to further consolidate consensus and outline the great prospects for Asia-Pacific cooperation, Li said.

Speaking on the overall situation in the South China Sea, Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong said the situation has seen tension cooling and is showing positive momentum.

China and the ASEAN countries are committed to comprehensively and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea, Chen noted.

Also, they are pressing ahead consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea as they have made some major progress, Chen added.

This shows that the regional countries have willingness, capability and wisdom to effectively tackle the South China Sea issue, Chen said.

"We also hope that some countries outside the region could objectively view the positive changes taking place in the South China Sea situation and do more to facilitate the region's peace and stability," Chen added.

When asked about interactions between China and Vietnam over the South China Sea situation, Chen said the two sides will stay committed to friendly consultations, manage and control their maritime disputes, and champion the big picture of a developing China-Vietnam relationship.

Contact the writer at zhangyunbi@yowaldo.com

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