Asean talks: US and China pledge to co-operate on Asia
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Asean talks: US and China pledge to co-operate on Asia

Karāchi : Pakistan | Jul 12, 2012 at 7:20 AM PDT
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Asean Wants Code of Conduct on South China Sea Before Talks (Cambodia news in Khmer)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi have said their countries will co-operate on Asia issues.

They are meeting on the sidelines of the Asean forum in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, amid regional tension.

China and Japan disagree over who owns islands in the East China Sea.

Meanwhile, Asean is seeking China's agreement on a code of conduct on disputes in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea.

"I am delighted that we are going to be issuing a joint media note,'' she told the meeting in Phnom Penh. ''It is an important signal that the United States and China not only can but will work together in Asia."

Mr Yang told reporters China was ready to ''enhance'' dialogue with the US and ''expand... common ground''.

"China and US relations have continued to make progress this year," he said.

Foreign ministers of the 10-nation bloc are meeting in the Cambodian capital with counterparts from the region including China, and Mrs Clinton and European Union representative Catherine Ashton.

'Nationalistic rhetoric'

Mrs Clinton urged countries involved in disputes in the South China Sea to "work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without use of force''.

The US has no territorial claims in the region and will not ''take sides'' in disputes, she stressed.

"But we do have an interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea."

Mrs Clinton arrived in Phnom Penh from Laos where she made history as the first top US diplomat to visit the country in nearly six decades. Before that she travelled to Mongolia and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, a commentary in China's ruling Communist Party newspaper criticised Mrs Clinton for holding up Mongolia as a model for democracy in Asia.

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EU representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton talks as Philippines' Foreign Minister Albert Del Rosario listens in Phnom Penh
EU representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton talks as Philippines' Foreign Minister Albert Del Rosario listens in Phnom Penh
jimmii is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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