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Saturday, November 7, 2015, Kartik 23, 1422 BS, Muharram 24, 1437 Hijri

?India can play positive role in South China Sea?
Published :Saturday, 7 November, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13

BEIJING, Nov 6 :  China today asked India to play a "constructive and positive" role in safeguarding peace and stability in the disputed South China Sea, in a guarded reaction to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's call for "ensuring freedom of navigation" in the strategic waters amid escalated Sino-US tensions.
"We hope that countries who really care about freedom of navigation in the South China Sea (SCS) can play (a) constructive and positive role" in peace and stability of the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying told a media briefing in Beijing. She expressed concerns over the current round of tensions between US and China over an American naval vessel sailing through artificial islands in the SCS built by Beijing.
China has raised vociferous protests and warned Washington against sending naval vessels and military aircraft to the waters. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan had overlapping claims over a number of islands of the SCS and strongly contest China's claims of sovereignty over almost all of the SCS. Speaking at the ASEAN Plus defence ministers meeting, Parrikar expressed hope for a "peaceful resolution of the dispute".
Asserting that maritime security is a common challenge, he said "the situation in the South China Sea and recent developments there have attracted concern".
"This is natural since freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and overflight, unimpeded commerce and access to resources in accordance with recognised principles of international law including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, are of concern to all of us," he added.    ?PTI

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