Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on an official visit to the United States. The South China Sea and the DPRK's nuclear program. The two key issues on the table when he met his US counterpart John Kerry on Tuesday. Despite differences, the two sides try to find some common ground on the South China Sea issue. The Chinese Foreign Minister said freedom of navigation in the region has not been a problem, and that all parties need to step up their demilitarization efforts.
Wang Yi stood shoulder to shoulder with John Kerry, pledging his desire to work together.
"Both sides know, China and the US have far more common interests than areas of disagreement, and we work together on so many areas that far outweigh areas of friction," Wang said.
On his part, Kerry said a diplomatic solution is very important, and that he wants to bring together all concerned parties for negotiations on the South China Sea issue. Chinese foreign minister Wang blames the Philippines for South China Sea tension.
"We believe that it is important for a diplomatic solution, for a solution to occur which follows the rule of law, that brings the countries to the table for a negotiated resolution, not for unilateral actions," Kerry said.
Wang said that China has historically owned those islands in the South China Sea, and wants peace and stability and free navigation in the region. But he said China does not want to see any more close-up military reconnaissance, or the dispatch of missile destroyers or strategic bombers to its territorial waters.
He also pointed out that Beijing has always been willing to resolve the issue peacefully. But, he said one particular country, which he explicitedly named, has been reluctant to take part in the dialogue.
"It is exactly one country and let me not avoid mentioning the name: that is, the Philippines, has violated the stipulation of Article 4 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and has given up on the dialogue and negotiations with the direct concerned parties of China, which is regrettable and which is ill-advised. And, of course, we will not stop implementing the DoC because of one country's violation, and we will not -- just because of the Philippines' disregard for the DoC's binding clauses -- not push forward the negotiations for the CoC," Wang said.
Also at the press conference, Wang mentioned a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, which inferred that China has been building radar facilities on some of the islands in the South China Sea. But the Foreign Minister said focus should not be solely on China, but military build-ups by some other countries in the region.
"I hope the media will not only see the radar, but more importantly, perhaps, that every day the advanced armaments and equipment emerging in the South China Sea, including the missile bombers, the strategic destroyers--, why people have chosen to ignore them," Wang said.
Wang stressed that in recent decades some countries have illegally occupied China's islands and reefs and militarized them, not only with radars, but artillery.