China expected to send 'clear message' over South China Sea
Updated: 2015-05-15 20:37
By MO JINGXI
Observers said China should send a clear message over its stance on the South China Sea issue during weekend talks with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, after Washington's increasingly tough approach towards China.
They made the suggestion against the background of growing tensions in the South China Sea.
Kerry is due to visit China Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which will be held in Washington in late June, and for President Xi Jinping's September visit to the US.
However, analysts said the South China Sea would certainly be a topic of the meeting.
On Friday, Beijing accused Manila for being heedless of regional interests by backing a US plan to send military ships and aircraft near South China Sea reefs.
"Well we welcome that, it goes with our plan to develop Ulugan Bay and a naval base in Palawan," Philippine armed forces chief General Gregorio Catapang was quoted by the Manila Bulletin as saying on Thursday.
Catapang also said he hoped that the planned US presence will restore stability in the South China Sea.
"Regardless of the common interests of regional countries, the Philippines has frequently taken provocative actions that complicate and accelerate disputes over the South China Sea," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on Friday.
Hua said that China has worked with most of the ASEAN countries in maintaining the freedom of navigation and regional peace and stability in the South China Sea.