Amid sea row, Xi calls for peace; ‘Pacific Ocean our common home’
Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed on the importance of fostering peace in the Asia-Pacific region and not allowing disruptions to take away attention from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (Apec) sustainable development agenda.
In his speech during the Apec CEO Summit on Wednesday, Xi said Apec countries should “step up policy dialogue and coordination and use Apec as a platform to create synergy.”
“We must focus on development and spare no effort to foster an environment of peace conducive to development and never allow anything to disrupt the Asia-Pacific development process,” Xi added.
China is embroiled in a territorial dispute with the Philippines.
The Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague recently ruled in favor of tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear the dispute.
The Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling will pave the way for the presentation of the merits of the Philippines’ substantive claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea and its aggressive stance, including the reclamation activities in Kagitingan, Zamora and Panganiban Reefs as well as the building of artificial islets over Mabini, Burgos, Calderon and Kennar Reefs, have rattled the nerves of other claimant countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam.
But in his speech, Xi said conflicts among the member countries should be resolved through dialogue and consultation.
“I am confident that the vast Pacific Ocean will become a bridge of cooperation, a bond of friendship and a place we call our common home,” Xi said.
“It is important that we establish an all-round partnership on development and mobilize the government, enterprise and social resources in concerted efforts for implementation of the sustainable development agenda,” he said, adding it was important to promote inclusive and harmonious development to meet Apec’s target of sustainable development.
“And in so doing, create more room for better quality and efficiency of development and make sure that these tasks can mutually reinforce each other,” Xi said. RC
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