China's Wang Urges Foreign Powers to Avoid Maritime Dispute

  • South China Sea tensions to be resolved in the region: Wang
  • `Historical problems' in maritime area will remain, Wang says

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said governments in the region are capable of resolving a dispute over the South China Sea and urged world powers to avoid adding to the maritime political tensions. 

The comments came less than two months after the U.S. sailed a Navy warship into disputed waters claimed by China in the South China Sea, intensifying the rivalry between the world’s two largest economies. Wang said “non-regional actors” who have concern should leave it to Pacific nations to resolve the dispute.

“These states should at least ensure that this region remains stable instead of fanning tensions,” Wang said Saturday in Berlin after meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has linked building islands in the South China Sea to national pride, which is at the center of the nation’s resurgence as a military power. Wang’s ministry is grappling over how or whether to respond to a court case over the South China Sea that seeks to resolve the dispute with international arbitration.

Calling the situation in the waters that stretch from China’s south coast “in general relatively stable,” Wang said negotiations among regional powers would resolve the tensions. He said “historical problems” in the area will remain.

“These historical problems are simply the status quo,” Wang told reporters through an interpreter.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.