In China, top US diplomat talks maritime tensions

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Associated Press

Posted on January 23, 2014 at 5:33 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 5:36 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A top U.S. diplomat says China needs to work with its neighbors to cool rising tensions over its claims to territory in surrounding seas.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Thursday that visiting Deputy Secretary of State William Burns stressed that no country should take unilateral action to assert its claims.

Burns said China should work constructively with its neighbors to avoid conflicts. Beijing and Tokyo are locked in a bitter dispute over claims to a string of tiny East China Sea islands controlled by Japan, while Beijing is in conflict with several of its southern neighbors over islands and strategic waterways in the South China Sea.

The embassy said Burns also discussed steps to persuade North Korea and Iran to cooperate with the international community over their nuclear programs.

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