China Warns U.S. Against Wading Into Islands Dispute
From the New York Times:
The Chinese government reacted angrily on Monday to an announcement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that Washington might step into a long-simmering territorial dispute between China and its smaller neighbors in the South China Sea.
Speaking Friday during a forum of Southeast Asian countries in Vietnam, Mrs. Clinton apparently surprised Beijing by saying the United States had a “national interest” in seeking to mediate the dispute, which involves a smattering of 200 islands, islets and coral outcroppings that are claimed by China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi of China warned the United States against wading into the conflict, saying it would increase regional tensions.
“What will be the consequences if this issue is turned into an international or multilateral one?” he asked in remarks published on the Foreign Ministry’s Web site. “It will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult.”