U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with top Chinese officials to reduce tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea two days after China warned the U.S. that Japan and Australia should not use their alliance as an excuse to interfere in territorial disputes, the Indian Express reported Wednesday.
Filling in for President Barack Obama at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Kerry will meet with Chinese officials and plans to call on the Chinese to accept a binding code of conduct in governing maritime disputes with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
On Monday the U.S., Japan and Australia met on the sidelines of APEC, where they made a statement opposing unilateral action that would change the status quo in the South China Sea.
Tensions in the South China Sea have grown as territorial disputes over the ownership of Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands have led to an increased risk of military confrontation.
"We urge the relevant countries to respect facts, distinguish right from wrong, be cautious, and stop all words and deeds that are not beneficial to the proper handling of the issue and undermine regional stability," Hua Chunying, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on the ministry’s website.
In response to the tripartite meeting, Chinese officials said that APEC was not the proper forum in which to discuss issues of political security or sensitive and controversial topics.