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Taiwan 'very careful' on South China Sea issues: U.S. official

Taiwan 'very careful' on South China Sea issues: U.S. official

Washington, June 27 (CNA) Taiwan is being cautious in its handling of issues related to the disputed South China Sea, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. The United States has discussed such issues with Taiwan, said Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at a question and answer session after delivering a keynote speech at a seminar on territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Through such discussions, the U.S. has come to understand that Taiwan is being "very, very careful" on South China Sea issues, whether in public or in private, Campbell said. Taiwan and five other Asian countries -- China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei -- claim full or partial sovereignty over the South China Sea island groups and surrounding waters, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and are close to one of the world's busiest sea lanes. The conflicting sovereignty claims have made the South China Sea one of the world's hottest military flashpoints. The seminar on maritime security in the South China Sea was organized by the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). It drew staff members from embassies and representative offices of the countries involved as well as many scholars and journalists. In his keynote speech, dubbed "The South China Sea and Asia Pacific in Transition: Exploring Options for Managing Disputes," Campbell said that the U.S. will not take a position on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. However, while the U.S. has consistently maintained neutrality on the South China Sea disputes, it is opposed to any party resorting to the use of force to resolve the problems, Campbell said. Instead, he said, the U.S. hopes to see all parties concerned use peaceful means to resolve their disputes. The CSIS said on its website that the June 27-28 conference is a policy level discussion of the complex and important issues relating to the South China Sea. It was held a week before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton departs for the ASEAN Regional Forum and Post-Ministerial Conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (By Lin Shu-yuan and Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-04-21 22:29 GMT+08:00