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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Hillary Clinton Visits Beijing To Discuss Syria, South China Sea Dispute

Danny Lee |
September 5, 2012 | 1:27 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Secretary of State Clinton discussed topics like Syria and the South China Sea in a meeting with Chinese leaders. (Creative Commons)
Secretary of State Clinton discussed topics like Syria and the South China Sea in a meeting with Chinese leaders. (Creative Commons)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit with leaders of China on Wednesday produced no sign of a solution on how to end the crisis in Syria and how to resolve the East Asian nation's territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Clinton met with President Hu Jintao and other top Chinese officials, urging China to stop supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, USA Today reported. The two sides also attempted to ease tension over Beijing's territorial claims in the oil-rich South China Sea.

The U.S. and its allies have been upset over China and Russia using their U.N. Security Council veto powers to block actions that could lead to sanction's against Assad. China has asserted that Syria's civil war should be resolved through negotiations instead of outside intervention.

"I think history will judge that China's position on the Syria question is a promotion of the appropriate handling of the situation," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, according to USA Today. Clinton had stated that China and Russia's vetoes have put those nations on the "wrong side of history."

South China Sea Dispute

Clinton called for a code of conduct to be agreed upon between China and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) that would make the parties, "work collaboratively to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation and certainly without the use of force," according to the BBC.

But Chinese state media continues to be critical of the U.S.'s stance. More from the BBC:

An editorial in Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily took a stronger line, referring also to another territorial row with Japan over East China Sea islands.

"The United States' recent conduct concerning the Diaoyu islands [called Senkaku by Japan] and South China Sea issues cannot but create the suspicion that it is attempting to sow discord in order to fish for advantage," it said.

"In the long term, this kind of adjustment in the United States' Asia-Pacific strategy will not bring gains, and could even backfire."

China's claims over the Spratly and Paracel islands have led to conflict with Vietnam, the Philippines and other ASEAN countries.

Iran was also a topic of discussion as Clinton praised the efforts with China and other Security Council members, which she said has brought "unprecedented pressure" on Tehran, according to Reuters. The U.S. has stepped up pressure on Iran through unilateral sanctions, a tactic that Beijing has opposed.


For more on Neon Tommy's coverage of Syria, click here.

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