BEIJING - China's top state newspaper warned the visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday not to seek advantage from tensions in the South China Sea, ahead of talks likely to focus territorial disputes and other sources of discord.
Beijing and Washington have both stressed hopes for steady ties, especially as they confront domestic political hurdles. But the tensions in the South China Sea have emerged as a persistent irritant, reflecting suspicions in Beijing that the Obama administration is seeking to rein in Chinese influence.
The international edition of state mouthpiece the People's Daily aired those concerns ahead of Clinton's meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders, and suggested the United States is seeking to gain leverage from China's tensions with Japan and Southeast Asian countries.
"The United States' recent conduct concerning the Diaoyu islands and South China Sea issues cannot but create the suspicion that it is attempting to sow discord in order to fish for advantage," said a front-page commentary in the paper, which broadly reflects official thinking.