China calls for trust, cooperation on South China Sea issue

China called on Monday for concerned parties on the South China Sea issue to make more of an effort to increase mutual trust and cooperation.

At a regular press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “China hopes the concerned parties take regional peace and stability as a priority and generate more efforts to increase mutual trust and cooperation.”

Hong’s remarks came after a Philippine-proposed meeting among four Southeast Asian claimants to the South China Sea for this month in Manila was postponed.

Hong said China had noted the delay, and that the country holds a clear and consistent position on the issue that the relevant disputes should be resolved through consultation and negotiation in a bilateral framework.

The spokesman also pointed out such a position, an important principle of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), has been agreed among all the nations who signed the document.

Xinhua