Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi(C) speaks to the press after the meetings in Vientiane, capital of Laos, on July 26, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Ailun)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday refuted a trilateral statement issued by the United States, Japan and Australia which touched upon the South China Sea situation, questioning the trio to be peacekeepers or troublemakers.
Wang made the remarks when attending the 6th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in the Lao capital Vientiane, in response to the statement issued by the three countries on Monday evening.
Wang Yi said the China-ASEAN meeting was held in an amicable and harmonious atmosphere. A joint statement on fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) was announced at the end of the meeting by the 11 foreign ministers.
All parties pledged in the China-ASEAN joint statement to return to the right track of resolving specific disputes through consultations by parties directly concerned.
It sends out a positive message that China and the ASEAN will jointly maintain stability in the South China Sea, Wang said.
However, regrettably, late last night, the U.S., Japan and Australia jointly issued a statement, further playing up the South China Sea issue and regional tension targeting China, the Chinese foreign minister said, considering the damage this trilateral statement has done, China has to make a response.
Wang Yi said since Monday, on the one hand, regional countries are determined to enhance cooperation and want to see the South China Sea situation cool down. On the other hand, this trilateral statement is fanning the flames.
On the one hand, regional countries resist taking sides on the arbitration case, believing that it is a bilateral issue between China and the Philippines. On the other hand, the trilateral statement asserts that the so-called ruling which is highly contentious is binding, Wang continued.
On the one hand, more than 70 countries have shown their understanding and support to China's legitimate stance in various ways. On the other hand, the trilateral statement still, directly and indirectly, places the blame on China, he said.
"This trilateral statement came at a highly inappropriate time and conforms in no way with the development of the situation," Wang said, adding that the trilateral statement is inconsistent with the efforts being made by regional countries to safeguard stability in the South China Sea, inconsistent with the aspiration of regional people to lower the temperature surrounding the South China Sea situation, and inconsistent with the constructive role that non-regional countries should play."
"If you truly want stability in the South China Sea, you should support the efforts by China and the ASEAN in implementing the DOC and the settlement of the dispute through dialogue and consultation by countries directly concerned."
"Now it is the time to test whether you are peacekeepers or troublemakers, " Wang said.