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Wang Yi Refuting the Joint Statement by US, Japan and Australia: Peacekeeper or Troublemaker

On July 26, when attending the 6th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting, in response to the trilateral statement issued by US, Japan and Australia on the night of July 25 which touched upon the South China Sea situation, Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a fact-based and solemn refute.

Wang Yi said that the China-ASEAN meeting was held in an amicable and harmonious atmosphere. A joint statement on fully and effectively implementing the DOC was announced at the end of the meeting by the 11 foreign ministers. All parties pledged in the joint statement to return to the right track of resolving specific disputes through consultations by parties directly concerned. It sends out a positive message that China and ASEAN will jointly maintain stability in the South China Sea. However, regrettably, late last night, the US, Japan and Australia jointly issued a statement, further playing up the South China Sea issue and regional tension and targeting China. Considering the damage this trilateral statement has done, China has to made a response.

Wang Yi said that what we have observed since yesterday is that on the one hand, regional countries are determined to enhance cooperation and want to see the South China Sea situation cool down, on the other hand, this trilateral statement is fanning the flames; on the one hand, regional countries resist choosing sides on the arbitration case, believing that it is a bilateral issue between China and the Philippines, on the other hand, the trilateral statement asserts that the so-called ruling which is highly contentious is binding; on the one hand, more than 70 countries have shown their understanding and support to China's legitimate stance in various ways, on the other hand, the trilateral statement still, directly and indirectly, places the blame on China. This trilateral statement came at a highly inappropriate time and conforms in no way with the development of the situation. This statement is inconsistent with the efforts being made by regional countries to safeguard stability in the South China Sea, inconsistent with the aspiration of regional people to lower the temperature surrounding the South China Sea situation, and inconsistent with the constructive role that non-regional countries should play.

Wang Yi said that if you truly want stability in the South China Sea, you should support the efforts by China and ASEAN in implementing the DOC and the settlement of the dispute through dialogue and consultation by countries directly concerned. Now it is the time to test whether you are peacekeepers or troublemakers.

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