first_img“Our concern lies principally with the need for those”Our concern lies principally with the need for those parties that do have competing claims to resolve them through diplomacy. And we certainly do not want to see the tensions increase, because of the risk that that could pose to the extensive commerce thats conducted in that region of the world,” Earnest said, adding that this also underscores the complexity of the US relationship with Australia.”Australia is one of our closest allies and we work with them on a range of issues. I will let the Australians describe the concerns that they may have or the impact on their national security that the tensions in the South China Sea may have. But obviously, the Australian economy is affected by the glut of capacity in the steel industry in much the same way that the US is as well.”I know that the (Australian) Prime Minister (Malcolm) Turnbull has indicated his own priority for ensuring that international trade is conducted fairly. That common ground is the basis for kinds of conversations that President (Barack) Obama and he have on a fairly regular basis,” he said.Despite all these, Earnest said the US has been able to work with China in pursuit of other priorities.”We have talked about North Korea, and the influence that the Chinese government has with North Korea,” Earnest said.The US also worked with China to complete the Iran deal. That would not have been possible without Chinas active participation in the discussions but also China had to be helpful in terms of imposing and enforcing the sanctions that compelled Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, he observed.advertisement”So, this illustrates that there are differences of opinions that we have with China, and I am certainly not seeking to downplay them. They are significant and they have significant consequences for our economy in particular. But they have not prevented the US and China from being able to work effectively together to pursue other areas where were in better agreement,” Earnest added.China claims almost all of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan fiercely contest Chinas claims. They also have overlapping claims over the area stated to be endowed with oil, minerals and rich with fisheries. PTI LKJ CPSlast_img