Rather than resort to provocation and confrontation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China need to engage in table talk discussions to solve problems faced by countries involved in the East Sea conflict, said a former US senior official.

Former US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Christopher R. Hill made the remark in his speech “Continuity and Change in US Engagement with Asia" delivered at the 27th Asia-Pacific Roundtable in Kuala Lumpur on June 4.

Christopher R. Hill said countries involved in the conflict should be alert of the situation and take positive actions to solve the problem, but not through confrontation.

Maritime conflicts should be solved in a diplomatic way, which means all countries involved in the East Sea issue must engage in table talk discussions, he affirmed.

He expressed his belief that ASEAN may play a major role in this issue, noting that table talk discussion is the best way to protect relations between the concerned parties.-VNA