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Sea row not a problem between China and Asean, Beijing says

Published on May 11, 2014 1:19 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The South China Sea dispute is not a problem between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China opposes certain member states trying to use it to sow discord, its foreign ministry said.

South-east Asian foreign ministers voiced "serious concerns"on Saturday over naval clashes between Vietnam and China as the regional group's top official urged Beijing to step up efforts to advance talks on maritime security.

Foreign ministers and heads of state of the 10-member Asean are facing a test of unity at their summit this weekend in Myanmar as some members express alarm over China's growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and push for a strong joint statement.

China's foreign ministry, in a statement late on Saturday, said the issue was not "a problem between China and Asean".

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