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US proposes South China Sea provocation freeze

Published on Jun 12, 2014 12:35 AM

YANGON (AFP) - A US official proposed on Wednesday that China and Southeast Asian nations call a moratorium on actions seen as provocative in a bid to cool tensions in the South China Sea.

Mr Danny Russel, the top US diplomat on East Asia, said he made the suggestion as "food for thought" and not as a formal proposal as he met regional counterparts in Myanmar to prepare for a regional summit later this year.

"The claimant states themselves could identify the kind of behaviour that they each find provocative when others do it, and offer to put a voluntary freeze on those sorts of actions on the condition that all the other claimants would agree to do so similarly," Mr Russel, an assistant secretary of state, told reporters on a conference call.

"So for example, would they be willing to make a pledge as simple as not to occupy any of the land features in the South China Sea that are currently unoccupied?"

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