MANILA — In the first part of the United States’ economic dialogue with China, a senior diplomat said that China will still continue fighting for its claims in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.
According to the official, China will continue invoking its historic rights in the disputed maritime territories.
The official made the statement when asked whether U.S. State Secretary John Kerry has discussed how Chinese President Xi Jinping insisted to apply the Confucian golden rule in the territorial dispute.
“I’m not in the business of speaking for the Chinese or reading out the Chinese half of a diplomatic conversation. But the Chinese are never shy about asserting that there’s not much to discuss, that their claims are indisputable, and that they, while open to negotiations, discussions, and dialogue, will never cede what they claim to be their historic rights,” the official said.
The official, whose name was not revealed when mentioned in a press briefing on Wednesday, also said that Kerry’s directness during the talk may still have had some effect on China.
“The candor and directness with which [Kerry] approached the issues of importance to the United States in his dialogue with [Chinese] State Councilor Yang [Jiechi] cannot have gone unnoticed and surely has had some effect,” he said.
He added that the meeting was a good way of for “hearing out the other guy” and for “chipping away at misperceptions” on mutual concern issues.
Despite this, the U.S. still maintains its neutrality over the territorial disputes adding that it will not be gaining something if a country is to be judged owner of the disputed territories.
“But we stand to lose, as does the entire region, if Country X or Country Y uses coercive measures, the threat of force, or other non-peaceful, non-diplomatic means to advance its claim or to change the status quo,” the official said.