China, ASEAN should prevent external disruption in South China Sea – Wang Yi

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China, ASEAN should prevent external disruption in South China Sea - Wang Yi

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Tuesday that Beijing and members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should work together to remove “external disruption” in the South China Sea.

Wang, who is on a visit to Malaysia as part of a short Southeast Asian tour, did not elaborate.

During a joint a news conference, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through regional dialogue.

China, which has for years been locked in maritime disputes with other coastal states in the South China Sea, has in recent months held military exercises in disputed parts of the strategic waterway, while Washington has accused China of attempting to build a “maritime empire” in the area.

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