China meets with Asean diplomats to propose resuming South China Sea talks

China meets with Asean diplomats to propose resuming South China Sea talks

  • Beijing conveys its concerns about the rising risk of conflict over the contested waters
  • Discussion follows US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of a harder line concerning China’s ‘unlawful’ claims

Three weeks after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his country’s new position on the South China Sea, Beijing called diplomats from 10 Southeast Asian countries together for a meeting to convey its worries about the rising risk for conflict over the contested waters.

During the meeting in Beijing in early August, a Chinese official in charge of maritime and boundary affairs expressed Beijing’s concerns for the “high risk” from military activities by “non-regional countries”, phrasing China often uses when discussing the US role in Asia.