China, Vietnam foreign ministers meeting cancelled amidst South China Sea tensions
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 09-Aug-2017
Manila, August 9: A scheduled meeting between the foreign ministers of China and Vietnam was cancelled on the sidelines of a regional gathering. The cancel took place after the growing tensions between the two countries over the South China Sea. The Chinese embassy officials gave no reason for the cancellation of the meeting scheduled for Monday in Manila between China's Wang Yi and Vietnam's Pham Binh Minh.
Tension has risen since June, when Vietnam infuriated China by drilling for oil and gas in an offshore block that Beijing disputes. The exploration was suspended after diplomatic protests from China.
After the ASEAN meeting, China's foreign minister had called out "some countries" who voiced concern over island reclamation. Wang said that China had not carried out reclamation for two years. "At this time, if you ask who is carrying out reclamation, it is definitely not China - perhaps it is the country that brings up the issue that is doing it," he added.
Satellite images have shown that Vietnam has carried out reclamation work in two sites in the disputed seas in recent years.
Australia, Japan and the United States on Monday urged Southeast Asia and China to ensure that a South China Sea code of conduct they have committed to draw up will be legally binding and said they strongly opposed "coercive unilateral actions".