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'Due consequences' warned of over S China Sea issue

Updated: 2011-08-02 17:35


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BEIJING - China's flagship newspaper, the People's Daily, published a signed commentary on Tuesday warning that relevant countries will see "due consequence" if they make serious strategic miscalculations in the South China Sea.

China's proposal and implementation of the principle of "shelving differences while seeking joint development" in handling the South China Sea dispute does not mean that the country will compromise its sovereignty for other countries to "nibble," said the commentary signed by Zhong Sheng.

In Bali, Indonesia, the Philippine Foreign Minister has proposed to make the disputed area into a "zone of peace, freedom, friendship and cooperation." However, the Philippines' following actions showed that the "peace proposal" is just a trick, and that the country clearly lacks sincerity in solving the dispute in a peaceful way, the commentary said.

It was reported on the website of the Philippine Star on Sunday that the Philippine Navy is about to finish construction of a second star shell-like structure on an islet in the Nansha Islands area, over which China has territorial sovereignty, the commentary said.

The construction was claimed to be "intended to shelter and protect troops guarding the country's maritime domain in the hotly-contested area from inclement weather." However, this action is a serious violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the commentary said.

Foreign ministers of China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have recently endorsed an agreement on the guidelines of implementing the DOC, which called on relevant parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability in the region. This is a consensus among China and the ASEAN countries, the commentary said.

The move of the Philippines is not only a violation of China's territory, but also runs counter to the stance of the ASEAN, it said.

The commentary said that a peaceful solution of the South China Sea issue is a long-term and complicated commitment that requires all parties concerned to implement the agreed guidelines, build mutual trust through cooperative efforts and lay a foundation for future negotiations.

China will not rule out binding negotiations at a proper time, but at present, the most important thing is practical cooperation. Moreover, the move of the Philippine side in violating the DOC and undermining future cooperation should be strictly restrained, the commentary said.


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