Nov 19, 2012

Cambodia - Sea disputes should not hinder upcoming summit: China

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CAMBODIA: China does not want to see the South China Sea disputes become an obstacle for the success of the forthcoming East Asia Summit meeting in Phnom Penh.

Making this point during a news conference on Sunday evening was Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang.

He said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wants to ensure the South China Sea disputes do not become a stumbling block in ASEAN's ties with China.

Mr Wen had also made the point when he had bilateral meetings with the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia on Sunday.

The spokesman said the leaders agreed that the collective response of ASEAN and its dialogue partners to the current economic situation is a top priority subject for discussions at the East Asia Summit.

Mr Qin Gang also disputed claims that China is ready to discuss the South China Sea issue with ASEAN.

He said consultations are have been going on for months and China will continue with the discussions, particularly with the other claimant states.

ASEAN leaders will meet Premier Wen Jiabao during the ASEAN Plus One dialogue sessions on Monday, and East Asia Summit on Tuesday.

This will be Premier Wen's last ASEAN summit, with the leadership transition in China scheduled for March 2013.

- CNA/xq

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