China turns down talks on islands

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The Independent Online

Beijing says it will not discuss territorial disputes with five other nations in the South China Sea during this week's East Asia Summit in Bali.

The call was made by the Philippines Foreign Secretary, Albert del Rosario, who also said the United Nations should arbitrate the claims to a string of potentially oil-rich islands. China wants individual negotiations to settle the disputes, which also involve Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

China is keen to resist any attempts by Washington to get more deeply involved in the disputes.