US says China risks confrontation with neighbors if it ignores tribunal ruling


China would face more conflicts with its Asian neighbors if it ignores an upcoming ruling of an international tribunal on the South China Sea disputes, a senior US State Department official said Tuesday.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Colin Willett, in a telephone press conference with Southeast Asian journalists, said China should view the arbitration result as an opportunity to resolve the maritime conflicts rather than look at it as a threat.

Although not a party to the disputes, Washington, which has been trying to reassert its influence in the Asia-Pacific region after several years of preoccupation in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has repeatedly said that it is in its national interest to ensure peace and stability in the waters.

“All eyes will be on China to see how it responds to the ruling and in our view that ruling should not be seen as a threat but can be seen as an opportunity for a real diplomatic solution,” Willett said.

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