“Issues associated with territorial disputes, maritime security, have been a key focus not just in our bilateral conversations with China, but in the region more generally,” US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said in front of international media.
“The principles we apply to that are consistent to whatever country’s involved, which is we don’t want nations to try to resolve those disputes through coercion,” Rhodes added.
“There are established international legal means for resolving those disputes. There are negotiations underway around code of conduct to avoid unnecessary escalation, between, for instance, China and ASEAN countries. And this will certainly be a topic at the S&ED (Strategic and Economic Dialogue) given how much it is a leading topic in the region,” the security advisor said.
“Our point is simply that we don’t want to see a process where a big nation – a bigger nation can bully a smaller one to get its way on a territorial dispute. We want to see an understanding of what the international legal basis is for resolving claims and what the process is in the region for avoiding tensions. So I think we’ll make very clear the same points that President Obama made throughout his trip to Asia,” Rhodes explained.
US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) will be held in Beijing, China on July 9-10, 2014. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will be meeting State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang along with other delegations and their counterparts.
South China Sea will be one of the topics of US-China S&ED next week.