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US destroyers sail near South China Sea isles as court case looms

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday that the so-called South China Sea arbitration is tainted "with an illogical and flawed application of procedures, laws and evidence".

The Philippines's permanent representative to the United Nations called on the union's member countries to support the rule of law in the upcoming decision of its arbitral tribunal in connection with the South China Sea dispute.

Wang's dismissive tone, however, contrasts with other measures top Chinese politicians have taken to convince foreign diplomats and reporters their claims to the disputed Spratly Islands are legitimate.

"I would like to make sure, whatever actions this administration will take, the statements we will be making will be in the pursuit of strengthening our relationship with everybody, and will be for the goal of making sure there will be no stumbling block to our negotiating a peaceful solution to the issue".

The newspaper has previously accused Washington of seeking to turn the South China Sea "into a powder keg" and warned it not to underestimate China's determination to defend its territorial claims.

"Beijing has repeatedly gone on the record saying all of this has belonged to China since time immemorial...[and] can hardly back down from such public commitments now, lest it make itself look weak and vacillating", he said, according to Defense News.

The U.N. leader said that all countries with rival claims to the South China Sea should settle their differences peacefully and "avoid any escalation or misunderstandings that could put security and development in the region at risk".

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The South China Sea is a critical world crossroads, with trillions of dollars' worth of goods transiting through the region.

The US and the Philippines now dominate the public discourse on the SCS issue, and the Philippines intends to use the media to label China as a state that "does not obey global law", he said.

Chas Freeman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 1993-94, also told People's Daily that a bilateral settlement through negotiations was always and remains the best solution to the South China Sea disputes for all interested parties.

Xu Liping, a researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China is not concerned about whom the ruling will favor as it has already made clear that it will not accept or participate in, acknowledge or implement the ruling.

The destroyers Spruance, Momsen and Stethem have been sailing close to islands controlled by the Chinese in the Spratlys archipelago and the Scarborough Shoal, both of which are close to the Philippines, the naval officials said.

Manila is challenging the legality of Beijing's actions and claims in the South China Sea - the first legal case involving the South China Sea.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Clint Ramsden said he could not go into operational or tactical details but that the patrols were part of a "routine presence".

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