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China slams G7 for ‘interfering’ in South China Sea dispute

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-05-2017 K J M Varma

Beijing: China on Sunday strongly denounced the just-concluded Group of Seven (G7) summit, accusing it of interfering in the East China Sea and South China Sea disputes in the “guise of international law”.

The G7 summit held in Taormina, Italy, ended with a joint communique on Saturday, saying the members are committed to “maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law”.

The statement expressed concerns about the situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea. China’s position on the East China Sea and South China Sea issues is clear and consistent, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement.

China has been committed to properly handling disputes, cementing cooperation and safeguarding peace and stability of the East China Sea and South China Sea through talks and consultations directly with related parties, he said.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippine’s, Malaysia and Brunei have counter claims. China last year rejected an international tribunal judgement quashing its claims over the area.

Lu urged the G7 and countries outside to understand the situation, stick to the pledge to take no position on relevant disputes, fully respect the efforts made by the countries in the region to handle disputes and stop making irresponsible remarks. China has also been opposing US dispatching naval ships and aircraft to assert freedom of navigation.

The G7 consists of the US, France, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy and Japan.

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