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China rebukes US over South China Sea disputes


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Yahoo News:

BEIJING – China criticized the U.S. on Tuesday over a senator's call for multilateral negotiations to resolve festering territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said only those countries with territorial claims in the vast resource-rich waters should get involved in such discussions.

"We hope countries not related to the disputes over the South China Sea will respect the efforts of directly related countries to resolve the issue through direct negotiations," Hong told a regularly scheduled news conference.

China, which claims the entire sea and its island groups, will assert its rights and interests but won't use force to resolve disputes or impede navigation, Hong said.

Hong's comments were in response to a call by U.S. Sen. Jim Webb on Monday for Washington to condemn China's use of force and facilitate talks on the dispute.

That followed accusations by Vietnam that Chinese boats cut a cable attached to a vessel conducting a seismic survey off its coast on May 26 and hindered operations of another vessel on June 9. The claims prompted rare anti-Chinese street protests in Vietnamese cities.

Meanwhile, the president of the Philippines, another claimant which has also accused China of harassment at sea, said the American military presence deters aggression in the area.

"Perhaps the presence of our treaty partner, which is the United States of America, ensures that all of us will have freedom of navigation, will conform to international law," Benigno Aquino III told a news conference Tuesday.

Considering how Obama's treated our allies in the past, I wouldn't hold my breath...
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