|Wang Yi Elaborates on China's Solemn Position on the South China Sea Issue|
On August 5, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the 12th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh, during which he expounded on China's position and refuted the so-called “concerns” expressed by the United States.
Wang Yi said China's position and claims on the South China Sea are supported by solid historical and legal basis. China has never changed the basis nor the scope of its claims,let alone make excessive claims. China and ASEAN countries are committed to properly handling differences through bilateral consultation and negotiation in accordance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Over the years, China and ASEAN countries have worked together to maintain the overall stability in the South China Sea, providing a stable development environment for their respective development and prosperity.
Wang Yi noted that at present, the biggest risk to peace and stability in the South China Sea is precisely the inappropriate intervention and frequent interference by major countries outside the region. For a long time, the United States had not raised any objection to China's claims of sovereignty and rights and interests in the South China Sea, and said that it did not take a position on the sovereignty issue of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Now, it has turned to a total negation of China's position and claims. This is untenable in logic, law and justice terms. Where is the credibility of a major country if it changes its established policies at will according to its own political needs? How can it win the trust of others in the future? In recent years, more and more US warships and aircraft have frequently appeared in the South China Sea and the airspace over it. China and the littoral states of the South China Sea cannot help but ask: what on earth is the United States up to? Non-regional countries should abide by their duties and earnestly respect the efforts made by countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Wang Yi said, China and ASEAN countries are speeding up consultation on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and will work together to upgrade the DOC and arrive at regional rules that are effective and have real practical significance.