China says it hopes Britain respects its West Philippine Sea sovereignty

September 25, 2018 - 9:52 AM
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The Ronald Reagan Strike Group ship's the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) conduct a photo exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship's the helicopter destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184), the destroyer JS Inazuma (DD 105) and the destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD 117) in the South China Sea August 31, 2018. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaila V. Peter/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS)

BEIJING — China hopes that Britain can stand by its position of not taking sides in the West Philippine Sea and earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese government’s top diplomat told Britain’s foreign minister.

Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi made the comments during a meeting with Jeremy Hunt in New York on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Beijing expressed anger after a British Royal Navy warship sailed close to islands claimed by China in the West Philippine Sea late last month, saying Britain was engaged in “provocation” and that it had lodged a strong complaint. — Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait