US to China: Prove your claim


WASHINGTON – If China can prove indisputably it owns the islets, shoals and reefs that are at the heart of a dispute with the Philippines and other neighbors, the US will support it 100 percent, Deputy US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Blinken said the US made it clear during a US-China strategic and economic dialogue in Washington last week that it did not have a position on any of the merits of conflicting claims in the South China Sea, “but how the claims are pursued makes a big difference.”

“The Chinese say that their claims are clear and undisputed – they’re not even claims, they’re just facts. And we’ve said, ‘great, if you demonstrate that, we’ll back you 100 percent.’ But you can’t expect other countries to engage in some kind of diplomatic process that goes nowhere where you create what are, in effect, facts on the sea,” he said in a speech on Friday at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank.


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