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File photo of Taiping Island Jonas Jerebko Jazz Jersey , Taiwan, China

Countries outside the South China Sea are expected to play a constructive role in the regional issue and not "create trouble", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday in a message analysts said was aimed at Washington.

Speaking to the second round of the China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue in Sydney on Sunday, Wang said China understands why countries that are far from the actual areas of tension would express concern, but hopefully, those countries will "play a constructive role rather than create trouble".

China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are able to maintain peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, Wang said, according to a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website.

Wang did not mention any country by name in the statement.

His comments came less than a month after Beijing accused the United States at an ASEAN regional forum of deliberately stoking tensions in the area.

The comments also coincided with US national security adviser Susan Rice's visit to China, her first trip to the country in that post. She is expected to meet President Xi Jinping and Wang in Beijing.

Zhang Jiuhuan, a former Chinese ambassador to Thailand and Singapore, said Wang's remarks were primarily directed at the US.

Washington's Asia pivot and stance over territorial issues in the region have emboldened some countries to challenge China's legal rights and ratchet up tensions, Zhang said.

The US has stepped up its tone on the South China Sea since US President Barack Obama's Asian trip in April, especially regarding the Beijing-Hanoi row over a Chinese oil rig in the sea, which sparked fatal anti-China riots in Vietnam in May.

The US also has been active in strengthening its military ties with countries such as the Philippines, which have competing territorial claims with China in the South China Sea. Manila is seeking international arbitration in its disputes with China.

A senior US State Department official who declined to be named said in August that Washington "will also be monitoring the actual situation around the rocks, reefs, and shoals in the South China Sea".

Wang called on Sunday for respect for the combined efforts of China and ASEAN to resolve the issues, adding that direct dialogue and consultation between the countries involved has proved in the past to be the most effective way to resolve areas of concern.

Gong Yingchun, an associate professor of international law at China Foreign Affairs University, said Beijing is urging Washington not to meddle with the South China Sea issue again as tension has somewhat eased recently.

China and some Southeast Asian countries have seen progress in diminishing the tension, and discussions on a code of conduct between countries in the sea are continuing, even though it is a long-running process, Gong said.

CAPE TOWN, June 20 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's Parliament said on Tuesday it wants clarification regarding the naturalization process of the controversial Indian Gupta family.

Parliament has resolved to invite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, who was former Minister of Home Affairs, and Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Mkuseli Apleni to give facts on the naturalization process of the Gupta family, spokesperson Malatswa Molepo said.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs had already initiated a process to engage the DHA on the matter because it considered the matter to be in the public interest, Molepo said.

The resolution also responds to the call to expedite the probe into the issue, he added.

Gigaba, who became Finance Minister in April this year, granted naturalization to the Guptas when he was Minister of Home Affairs.

The Gupta family's naturalization, which was revealed recently by social media, has sparked a public outcry.

The Guptas, who allegedly keep close ties with President Jacob Zuma and his family, have been under fire for exerting undue influence on Zuma in the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding to lucrative contracts with state-owned companies, known as "state capture."

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied the accusation.

Parliament had arranged a meeting with Gigaba and Apleni on Tuesday, but both failed to turn up due to their busy schedules.

The meeting has to be re-scheduled for June 26 this year.

Regarding the invitation to Gigaba, Parliament will seek legal advice in order to ensure that any interrogation of the issue is done as per the prescripts of National Assembly rules and within the parameters of the law, Molepo said.

The legal advice is sought primarily because Rule 89 of the recently adopted ninth edition of the Rules of the National Assembly prevents members from "reflecting upon the merits of any matter on which a judicial decision in a court of law is pending", said Molepo.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, which has oversight over the DHA, is committed to urgently dealing with the matter, he said.

Gigaba has defended the granting of naturalization to the Gupta family, saying he handled the Guptas' naturalization application "in a lawful manner."

The granting of naturalization certificates of this nature is not unusual as similar courtesies have been extended to prominent businessmen, including executives of multi-nationals, and sports people, Gigaba said.

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