News ID: 318155
Published: 0335 GMT November 22, 2021

Xi: China will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia

Xi: China will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he chairs a summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday said his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbors, amid ongoing friction over the South China Sea.

Xi made the remarks during a virtual conference with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, held to mark the 30th anniversary of relations between China and the grouping, AP reported.

China has repeatedly sought to overcome concerns about its rising power and influence in the region, particularly its claim to the entire South China Sea that overlaps the claims of ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.

“China resolutely opposes hegemonism and power politics, wishes to maintain friendly relations with its neighbors and jointly nurture lasting peace in the region and absolutely will not seek hegemony or even less, bully the small,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

China has sought to strengthen its presence in the waterway, home to crucial shipping routes, fish stocks and undersea oil and gas deposits, by building airstrips and other features on islands created by piling sand and concrete atop coral reefs.

China and ASEAN have for years been negotiating a code of conduct for handling matters in the South China Sea but those talks have made little progress of late.

In other comments, Xi said peace was the “greatest common interest” for all sides, and China would exert its utmost to avoid conflict, according to Al Jazeera.

“We must be the constructors and protectors of regional peace, insist on dialogue instead of confrontation, partnership and nonalignment, and join hands in dealing with various negative factors that threaten to undermine peace,” Xi said.

“We must practice true multilateralism and insist on handling international and regional matters through negotiation.”








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