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China says does not want S. China Sea overshadowing summit

Published on Nov 17, 2012 1:56 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A regional summit opening in Cambodia this weekend should not be overshadowed by a dispute over the South China Sea as the situation is under control and countries involved can resolve differences themselves, a top Chinese diplomat said on Saturday.

China's assertion of sovereignty over the stretch of water off its south coast and to the east of mainland South-east Asia has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts, making it Asia's biggest potential military trouble spot.

But Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said the dispute was well in hand, ahead of a meeting of regional leaders in Cambodia attended by South-east Asian heads of states as well as China's Premier Wen Jiabao and US President Barack Obama.

"As soon as this region is bought up everyone thinks it's very dangerous, very turbulent, because of the South China Sea issue. In fact, over the past few years, China and the countries surrounding the South China Sea have successfully controlled the dispute and not let it intensify," Ms Fu told reporters.

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