Clinton meeting with Chinese officials to tackle island disputes
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit China on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks with Chinese leaders on China’s territorial disputes with Japan and the Philippines.
The two-day visit, which is part of Clinton’s 10-day tour of six Asian countries, will see the U.S. secretary urging Beijing to talk with its neighbors over conflicting claims on islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea, according to American and Chinese officials.
Clinton’s Asian tour is aimed at stressing the U.S. commitment to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific, according to State Department officials. Clinton herself was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as tellng leaders of South Pacific island nations in a meeting in Cook Islands on Friday that the U.S. will “continue helping to maintain security in the region and to protect the flow of maritime commerce.”
Clinton was also quoted as calling on Beijing to “act in a fair and transparent way” in the Pacific as it expands its influence there.
The state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary that Clinton’s tour is aimed at containing China’s increasing influence in Asia and defend the U.S. dominance and hegemony in the region.
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday in a press briefing that “outside parties” should stop meddling in the dispute between China and Japan over Diaoyu Islands. He said the islands, which is under Japanese jurisdiction, belongs to China since ancient times.
The Chinese media has criticized Washington for siding with Japan following State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland’s statement last week calling Diaoyu Islands as Senkaku and declaring it as covered by the U.S.-Japan defense treaty. Senkaku is the Japanese name of the islands.