BEIJING: China’s relationship with the US is “stable” despite tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), President Xi Jinping told top American diplomat John Kerry on Sunday, adding that the Pacific Ocean is “vast enough” for both powers, state media said.
Xi met with Kerry in Beijing as tensions between the world’s two biggest economies mount over Chinese island-building in strategic but disputed waters.
The United States is weighing sending warships and surveillance aircraft within 12 nautical miles—the normal territorial zone around natural land—of artificial islands that Beijing is building in the South China Sea.
Such a deployment could lead to a standoff on the high seas in an area home to vital global shipping lanes.
But on Sunday, Xi told Kerry that, relations between the two countries “have remained stable on the whole,” according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
“The broad Pacific Ocean is vast enough to embrace both China and the United States,” Xi said.