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China warns against intervention

BEIJING: China on Monday warned the United States against taking sides in territorial disputes, as it prepared for a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is currently on a tour of the Asia Pacific region during which she is expected to reaffirm calls for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Southeast Asian nations have accused Beijing of growing assertiveness.

The United States is reinforcing its military presence in the Pacific, a move that analysts say is aimed at countering China's growing power in the region, and which has sparked concern in Beijing.

“We hope the US side will uphold the wider interests of peace and stability and honour its commitments of not taking sides,” said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a briefing.—AFP

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