On February 7, 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia jointly met the press after holding the fourth round of China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Canberra. Australian journalists inquired about whether there will be military conflicts in the South China Sea between China and the US and what information is expected to be passed to the US from China.
Wang Yi expressed upon enquiry that I just want to offer a piece of advice to the US friends: review the history of World War II. From the long history of mankind, the end of World War II is not too long from now. As a victory result of World War II, the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation clearly stipulate that Japan must return the stolen Chinese territory to China, including the Nansha Islands. In 1946, the then Chinese Government publicly resumed Nansha Islands, which had been occupied by Japan, as well as its exercise of sovereignty based on relevant laws with assistance from the US. Later on, some countries around China illegally occupied parts of the islands and reefs of Nansha Islands, which leads to the so-called South China Sea dispute. In this regard, China always insists on a peaceful settlement through dialogues and consultations with parties directly concerned and on the basis of historical facts and international laws. This position will not change in the future.
Wang Yi noted that under joint efforts of China and ASESN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is stabilizing. China and the Philippines have already set up a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue. China and ASEAN countries are speeding up the consultations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to establish regional rules that China and all ASEAN parties agree with, control the situation in the South China Sea and safeguard regional stability.
Wang Yi said that the South China Sea issue has returned to the correct track of resolving disputes through negotiations and consultations between parties directly concerned. What countries outside the region should do is to actively support the efforts made by regional countries to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, but not the contrary. From this perspective, China attaches importance to the new US Defense Secretary James Mattis's recent comment of stressing to resolve the South China Sea dispute through diplomatic endeavor, which is not only in line with the established stance of China and ASEAN nations, and also should be the correct choice for countries outside the region.