Marty to Talk to China About Sea Disputes

By webadmin on 09:37 am Aug 09, 2012
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Ismira Lutfia

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says he will discuss the South China Sea issue with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi when the pair meet in Jakarta on Friday.

“I am looking forward in the next couple of days to receiving China’s foreign minister during his visit to Indonesia and I hope that besides bilateral issues, we can compare notes on the South China Sea,” Marty told journalists on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark the 45th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Wednesday.

Yang will make official visits to Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia from today to Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told China Daily on Wednesday.

During his visit, Yang will co-chair, with Marty, the second meeting of the joint committee for bilateral cooperation established between the two governments.

Marty added that the South China Sea, where several Asean members as well as China and Taiwan have overlapping marine border claims, was an issue that demanded a common approach. “Otherwise, the risks of further tensions are very much ahead of us,” he added.

Foreign ministers of the 10-member regional grouping last month failed to agree and produce a joint communique during their ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh because they could not agree on a paragraph about the territorial disputes.

But Marty then embarked on a 36-hour “Shuttle Diplomacy” tour to the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore that resulted in Asean member states agreeing on a joint statement on the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea.