China seeks peace with neighbours (Second Lead)

March 6th, 2012 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 6 (IANS) China expects neighbouring countries to peacefully handle and resolve differences with Beijing through dialogue and consultation, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Tuesday.

Yang made the remark at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.

To a question on China’s disputes with neighbouring countries, Yang said China hopes countries concerned respect China’s legitimate rights and interests in the Asia Pacific region and avoid making remarks or taking moves that may complicate the situation.

The foreign minister called for countries concerned to work with the Chinese side for stability, development and progress in the Asian region, reported Xinhua.

“We believe that progress has already been made in handling these differences between relevant Asian countries. And the two sides have reached important consensus on seeking peaceful settlement and pushing forward mutual cooperation,” Yang said.

Yang said China always believes the disputes in the South China Sea should be properly resolved through negotiations between relevant parties on the basis of facts and in accordance with the basic norms governing international relations.

Yang noted that China and countries concerned have reached important agreements on peacefully resolving disputes and pushing forward practical cooperation in the South China Sea.

“At the same time, much remains to be done in this regard,” he said.

A host of contentious issues have tended to shadow bilateral ties between China and India in recent months. China has voiced its concern over India’s deal with Vietnam for exploration in the South China Sea. India has defended the deal.

China and countries concerned have the ability and wisdom to properly handle the South China Sea issue and work together for peace and stability in the South China Sea, Yang said.

Yang stressed one should view China’s relationship with its neighbouring countries in “a broader context” of the general trend of development and he believes now the general trend is a “positive” one.

He noted China pursues a policy of building good-neighbourly relationship and partnership with countries and is committed to deepening the mutual beneficiary cooperation with other Asian countries.

“And now the relations between China and other Asian countries are in good shape and we have a lot of positive factors,” Yang said, referring to frequent high-level visits and mutual coordination between China and other Asian countries.

Yang said that during his recent visits to some Asian countries, he felt that they wanted to see the sustained positive momentum of the Chinese economy and hoped that China will continue its development that bring abundant results and benefits to people of the two sides in terms of business cooperation, and mutual benefits and cooperation in other fields.

China has become the largest trading partner for the majority of its neighbours, as trade between China and other Asian countries topped $1 trillion last year.

China’s investment in the Asian region approached $20 billion last year, with cooperation between China and other Asian countries in fields of science and technology, finance, energy, and infrastructure.

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