China stopping reclamation activities because of upcoming US-China S&D Dialogue?

Speculations rise that China is stopping its reclamation activities in West Philippine Sea due to international pressure and ahead of the yearly United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. US-China S&D Dialogue is set to be held in in Washington, D.C. on June 23-24.

US-China S&D Dialogue is a high-level dialogue for the United States and China to discuss a wide range of regional and global strategic and economic issues between both countries.

A reporter asked US State Department’s spokesperson John Kirby in a daily press briefing June 17. “They chose to make this announcement shortly before this S&ED conference here in Washington, D.C.,” the reporter said. “Does it tell you something about the Chinese posture about this issue?”

The US State department spokesman said “as for the timing of their announcement, you have to talk to them about that.” However, he said, US will continue to press China with its behavior. “I know it will come up next week. And again, Secretary Kerry will continue to press the same concerns that we’ve been pressing throughout.”

“We’ve seen the announcement that they’re going to stop land reclamation. We also saw that they intend to continue to militarizing the ones that they’ve reclaimed,” Kirby said.

“And we’ve made it very clear privately and publicly that that only increases tensions, that – and that it’s unhelpful, and we continue to call for a cessation of land reclamation and militarization of them in the region. It doesn’t do anything to increase the stability and security,” the American spokesperson explained.