Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that Beijing had halted land reclamation in the South China Sea, and called on countries in the region to speed up talks on how claimant states should conduct themselves in the disputed waters. In June, China said it would soon complete some of its reclamation in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, while adding it would continue to build facilities on the man-made islands. Wang’s remarks at a regional meeting in Kuala Lumpur appeared designed to defuse tensions with other countries that lay claim to parts of the sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Beijing claims most of the waters, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. The United States and Japan have expressed alarm at China’s expansion in the South China Sea, which they suspect is aimed at extending its military reach, and US Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue with Wang in the Malaysian capital.