Maintaining dialogue between China and the United States will benefit the Asia-Pacific region and even the whole world, said U.S. Air Force Deputy Under Secretary Heidi Grant at a brief in New York on November 29.
"I think that it's more important than ever to keep the dialogue going with our China counterparts," said Grant, who has been to China three times in the last two years. "The dialogue that we have ongoing is important to make sure there are no strategic surprises and make sure that we're clear on international rules of law both in the air and the sea, and that's our hope for stability in the region."
She stressed that for the sake of the global economy, it's important that China and the United States maintain good relations.
At the same time, she said that the United States will continue to ensure the freedom of navigation and air travel in the South China Sea.
In response to a question about freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea at a press conference on December 2, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that all countries are entitled to sail and fly freely through the South China Sea under the international law.
"Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and other coastal states in the South China Sea, freedom of navigation and overflight has never encountered any problems in the South China Sea. The situation in the South China Sea is also getting better," Geng said. "It is hoped that all relevant parties will respect efforts made by countries in the region to safeguard peace and stability in the region."
Copyedited by Bryan Michael Galvan
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