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China warns US on territory disputes


China has issued a veiled warning to the US to keep out of Beijing’s disputes with several of its neighbours over the South China Sea.

“The disputes over the South China Sea between the relevant countries in the region have existed for many years. They should be settled through friendly consultation and negotiation between the sovereign states directly concerned,” Wen Jiabao, premier, told Asean leaders in Bali on the sidelines of a regional summit on Friday. “Outside forces should not get involved under any excuse.”

The remarks were made after Barack Obama had been reinforcing the message of a robust US presence in Asia in a key foreign policy speech. On Thursday, the US also announced it would station 2,500 troops in Australia, a move seen as an attempt to counterbalance China’s rising military influence in the region.

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