South China Sea claimants should refrain from provocative measures: US

| Updated: Jul 19, 2016 18:25 IST

Washington, July 19 (ANI): Reacting to reports that China will close part of the South China Sea for military drills, the US State Department has said that concerned parties in the dispute should seek non-military mechanisms and instead take diplomatic routes to look for peaceful solutions. During a briefing on Monday, Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said that Washington does not want any escalation in the South China Sea dispute and thus, the claimants should refrain from provocative actions. "We would call on China to really, in the aftermath of the ruling, to seize the opportunity that it presents to look at all of the claimants' concerns and to seek out legal and diplomatic processes to resolve them. And so we don't want to see escalation, we don't want to see further escalation in the South China Sea," said Toner. "We would call on all claimants to de-escalate and to seek mechanisms that don't involve military assets or any kind of construction or any kind of artificial construction that only increase tensions in the South China Sea," he added. On questions about Washington's involvement in any form of assistance to Philippines, Toner reiterated that the US had no involvement in legal process that was carried out by the tribunal. "The U.S. didn't have any sway or any influence on the tribunal, and nor would we have attempted to weigh in," said Toner. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, in a ruling on a dispute between the Philippines and China over maritime claims in the South China Sea on July 12, ruled that China has no "historic title" over the waters of the South China Sea. However, China refused to acknowledge the Tribunal's reward, citing it as 'illegal'. (ANI)