Xi Jinping says China will not seek to dominate Southeast Asia

Beijing (Associated Press)-Chinese leader Xi Jinping stated that in the ongoing friction in the South China Sea, China will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbors.

Xi Jinping delivered the above speech at a virtual meeting held on Monday with 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sides.

“China firmly opposes hegemonism and power politics, and is willing to maintain friendly relations with neighboring countries, and jointly maintain lasting peace in the region, and will never seek hegemony or even seek hegemony or bully minorities.” .

China has repeatedly tried to overcome concerns about its rising power and influence, especially its claims on almost the entire South China Sea overlap with those of ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines.

A few days ago, a Chinese coast guard ship intercepted two Filipino ships delivering supplies to the military in the disputed South China Sea and sprayed them with a powerful current.

China seeks to strengthen its presence in this waterway by building airstrips and other features on islands formed by stacking sand and concrete on coral reefs, which has important shipping routes, fish populations and subsea oil and gas reserves.

China’s powerful navy, coast guard, and maritime militia are also trying to prevent regional countries from developing resources in their exclusive economic zones, and strongly oppose the actions of the United States and other foreign forces in the region. China and ASEAN have been negotiating a code of conduct for handling the South China Sea issue for many years, but recent negotiations have made little progress.

China is still an important market and source of investment for Southeast Asian countries, and ASEAN has been trying to avoid conflict with Beijing. China also has close ties with ASEAN member states Cambodia and Laos, and has not criticized Myanmar. The military ruler of Myanmar, General Min Aung Lai, has been ruthless since the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in February. Suppress the opposition.

Min Aung Hlaing was banned from representing his country at the last ASEAN summit. It is not clear who represented Myanmar on Monday. This condemnation occurred after an ASEAN envoy was prevented from meeting Aung San Suu Kyi and other political detainees as part of the proposed dialogue to ease the crisis, and it is estimated that security forces have killed nearly 1,200 civilians. The government claims that the death toll is low.

In other comments, Xi Jinping stated that peace is the “biggest common interest” of all parties, and China will do its best to avoid conflict.

“We must be the builders and protectors of regional peace, insist on dialogue instead of confrontation, partnership and non-alignment, and work together to deal with all kinds of negative factors that undermine peace,” Xi Jinping said.

“We must practice true multilateralism and insist on resolving international and regional affairs through negotiations,” Xi Jinping said.

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