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Experts say negotiation best way to solve the South China Sea disputes


07-20-2016 10:28 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

Experts attending the Singapore seminar on the South China Sea and Regional Cooperation and Development say disputes should be resolved through negotiation. They added that issues surrounding the South China Sea should not hamper relations between China and the ASEAN nations.

"I think the best way is to start with problems that are easy to resolve, before moving on to more complex issues. China and the Philippines can temporarily put aside differences, and discuss issues of joint exploration first," said Zhao Qizheng, dean of  School of Journalism, Renmin Univ. of China.   

"We should move step by step. Under no circumstances should relations between China and other ASEAN countries be affected by our disputes with the Philippines. This is not only about China's interests, but the interests of ASEAN members."

"We are looking forward to consultation between the two sides in the spirit of mutual respect, to bring the South China Sea issue back to diplomatic negotiations in a proper manner," said Li Guoqiang, deputy director of Research Center for Chinese Borderland
History & Geography, CASS.

"Meanwhile, I also think if China and the Philippines decide to restart the diplomatic mechanism, under no circumstances should the South China Sea arbitration be used as reference."

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