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Wang Yi:Sticking to "Four Respect" on the South China Sea Issue

2014/09/07

On September 7, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, when holding the China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Sydney, expressed that the "Four Respect" should be adhered on the South China Sea issue.

First, respect the historical facts. The disputes among relevant parties over the sovereignty of some islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands are left over from history. Only by knowing the true historical background and the original rights and wrongs in the first place before properly handling the issue can we be objective and just.

Second, respect international laws and regulations. China has always been a firm defender and practitioner of the international laws and the principles governing the international relations. China will continue fulfilling its due responsibilities and obligations required by the international law for solving territorial disputes or by the Law of the Sea Convention for handling marine interests and rights.

Third, respect direct dialogue and consultation between countries concerned. This is a common practice for dealing with disputes between countries in the international community, not only in accordance with the spirit of the international laws but also explicitly stipulated in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and practice has proven that this is a feasible and most effective method in solving the South China Sea disputes. China stands against "go on ones' own way".

Fourth, respect joint efforts by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. China and the ASEAN are fully capable of safeguarding peace and stability as well as navigation freedom in the South China Sea. We understand the reasonable concerns of the countries outside the region, and at the same time hope that countries outside the region could offer help by playing a constructive role on the South China Sea issue rather than add to the trouble.

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