US won’t ‘agree to disagree’ with China on sea row


MANILA, Philippines — Washington continues to take a strong position against the conduct of Beijing in the South and East China Seas despite its effort to deepen bilateral ties, the top American diplomat said.

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a much-awaited statement on Wednesday that while the United States and China try to manage their differences, it is “not a code for agree to disagree.”

“We do not simply agree to disagree when it comes to maritime security, especially in the South and East China Seas,” Kerry said in an address on US-China relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.

He reiterated the US’ neutral position on the contesting claims of China with its neighbors over the waters, but maintained that it is actively pursuing resolutions to settle the longstanding bickering.

“We are deeply concerned about mounting tension in the South China Sea and we consistently urge all parties to pursue claims in accordance with international law,” Kerry added.


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