(Xinhua) — The Liberian government believes that all disputes in the South China Sea should be resolved through peaceful negotiations between the parties concerned, the country’s foreign minister said in a statement issued on Friday.
Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara said that no party involved in this matter will gain from rising tensions in the South China Sea as countries in the region are closely intertwined by trade and proximity.
Liberia will continue to support international efforts to safeguard regional peace and stability, the statement added.
China is playing a pivotal role in Liberia’s reconstruction after a bloody civil war and the impact of Ebola on the country. A number of prominent Liberians concerned about the situation in East Asia also expressed their support to bilateral talks.
The Philippines ditched negotiations with China and unilaterally brought its maritime dispute with the country to a court in The Hague. China has refused to participate in the arbitration because the Philippines has reneged on past agreements to resolve disputes through peaceful bilateral negotiations. China won’t recognize the court’s verdict, which is expected on Tuesday.
“The Chinese are friends of Liberia and have been very positive in helping to move us forward. What is happening in the South China Sea is of concern to all, and we hope maximum restraint will be taken in its resolution,” said Abdullai Kamara, president of the Press Union of Liberia.
Tamba W. Bundor, the executive director of the Community Development Services which is a non-government organization specialized in the water sector, noted that should the dispute escalate it would undermine progress and stability in that region.
Bundor, an expert in water and sanitation, advised dialogue instead of confrontation, which will generate unnecessary tensions and harm the free movement of people and economic progress.
Bundor says China is a peace-loving nation, which subscribes to international protocols and carries out constructive engagement in settling the dispute in the South China Sea. All parties should exercise restraint for the good of the region, Bundor added.