South China Sea warning looms over G7 summit. The United States is keen to raise the issue of South China Sea at a Group of Seven foreign ministers (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima.
The US expects that this move would likely draw an angry response from the government in Beijing. Japan also wants to discuss South China Sea.
The Shinzo Abe administration of Japan has been trying to place the South China Sea on top of the agenda at the upcoming two-day meeting in Hiroshima, despite pressing issues of combating terrorism and extremism, and the refugee crisis troubling Europe and the Middle East.
The US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: "What we want to see happen in the South China Sea is important. It's important to the region, it's important to the stability of the region, so I would suggest that those topics should be on the table."
Beijing has voiced strong opposition to the summit’s agenda, labelling the move to make disputes over the sea a key talking point “a provocation” that would shift the focus of the meeting from “more deserving concerns”.
On maritime security, the G-7 ministers are expected to voice opposition to any unilateral action to change the status quo amid concerns about China's suspected militarization of parts of the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday said the G-7 meeting shouldn’t "hype" the South China Sea issue. He made the comments in a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Beijing, according to a statement on the ministry’s website Saturday.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that G7 has strongly opposed provocation in the East and South China Seas, where China is locked in territorial disputes with nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
"We express our strong opposition to any intimidating coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions," the foreign ministers said in a statement on Monday following a meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.
China claims more than 80 percent of the water and has constructed artificial islands there for potential development.