South China Sea: Beijing joins new negotiations in bid to prevent all out war

BEIJING is to hold a new round of talks with a number of its neighbours later this year in a bid to prevent the South China Sea territorial dispute turning into an open war.

PUBLISHED: 03:15, Thu, Sep 10, 2020 | UPDATED: 03:15, Thu, Sep 10, 2020

According to Teodoro Locsin, foreign affairs secretary for the Philippines, the talks will take place no later than November. Mr Locsin made the announcement during a virtual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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The talks will take place between China and the ASEAN, with a number of ASEAN members disputing China’s claim over the South China Sea.

The ten countries which make up the ASEAN include regional powers Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Beijing’s claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea is disputed by six of its neighbours.

In a bid to strengthen their claim China has been constructing military bases, including airstrips, on islands in the disputed region.

ChinaBeijing is meeting the ASEAN group to discuss the South China Sea dispute (Image: GETTY)

ChinaChina has been building bases on islands in the South China Sea (Image: GETTY)

The United States, and other western powers, have been sending warships on “freedom of navigation” patrols through the South China Sea to signal they dispute Beijing’s claim.

According to Mr Locsin the latest round of talks will take place face-to-face.

They were due to be held earlier in the year but this was pushed back because of the coronavirus crisis.

The sessions will be hosted by Vietnam, which is chairing the ASEAN this year.

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ChinaChina's claim over the South China Sea overlaps with six other countries (Image: GETTY)

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Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the dispute threatens regional peace.

Speaking during the

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