NPR logo
Tensions In South China Sea Loom Over Kerry Visit
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/407212478/407212479" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Tensions In South China Sea Loom Over Kerry Visit

Asia

Tensions In South China Sea Loom Over Kerry Visit

Tensions In South China Sea Loom Over Kerry Visit
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/407212478/407212479" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Secretary of State John Kerry underscored U.S. concerns over China's claim to ownership of disputed islands in the South China Sea, an issue that has strained relations in the region.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

China and several of its neighbors are locked in a contest for ownership of violence in the South China Sea. Reports this week suggested that the U.S. is weighing the option of military intervention in the region. The issue looms over Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to China this weekend. He's there to prepare for a presidential summit and other U.S.-China exchanges later this year. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has the story from Beijing.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Neither Secretary Kerry nor Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed reports that the U.S. is considering sending war ships and planes to the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Kerry restated Washington's concern that China is reclaiming land on the islands in order to stake its claim to the area.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: I urged China to take actions that will join with everybody in helping to reduce tensions and increase the prospect of a diplomatic solution.

KUHN: Kerry said that instead of building military outposts on the islands, China should focus on reaching an agreement about the area with its Southeast Asian neighbors. Foreign Minister Wang said China is committed to settling the disputes by peaceful means, but he said it has a legitimate right to build whatever it wants on its own territory.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI: (Foreign language spoken).

KUHN: "China's determination to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity is rock solid and unquestionable," he said. Wang added that even as China's strength and influence grow, it has no intention of kicking the U.S. out of Asia.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

WANG YI: (Foreign language spoken).

KUHN: "The U.S. is an important country in the Asia-Pacific region," he said, "and we welcome the U.S. to play a positive and constructive role in Asian affairs." Both sides insist that their areas of cooperation on everything from climate change to nuclear nonproliferation outweigh the differences. Kerry will meet with President Xi Jinping before heading to South Korea tomorrow. Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.