Says “maintaining peace in the region” is the “greatest common interest”
(Eagle News) – China’s President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of the China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership on Monday, Nov. 22, as he vowed China’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.
President Xi, during the ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Dialogue Relations on Monday, Nov. 22, recalled how in the past 30 years, China have “cast away the shadow of the Cold War and jointly upheld stability in our region.”
“Without peace, nothing would be possible. Maintaining peace is our greatest common interest and the most cherished aspiration of people of all countries. We need to serve as the builders and guardians of peace in the region,” he said in his speech delivered in Chinese.
“We need to pursue dialogue instead of confrontation, build partnerships instead of alliances, and make concerted efforts to address the various negative factors that might threaten or undermine peace,” the 68-year old Chinese leader said.
President Xi said that this peace is the anchor upon which China and ASEAN relations would move forward.
“We need to practice true multilateralism and stick to the principle that international and regional affairs be handled through discussion among us all. China firmly opposes hegemonism and power politics,” he said.
President Xi said that China has spearheaded economic integration in East Asia and promoted common development and prosperity in the region. He said China and ASEAN have explored a “bright path of good neighborliness and win-win cooperation.”
-Milestone reached with establishment of China-ASEAN strategic partnership-
During the Summit, Xi announced the China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership” as a “new milestone” in China’s relations with ASEAN.
“Today, we jointly announce the establishment of a China-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This is a new milestone in the history of our relations and will inject new impetus into peace, stability, prosperity and development of our region and the world,” the Chinese leader said.
“The gains in China-ASEAN cooperation over the past 30 years are 2 attributable to our unique geographical proximity and cultural affinity and, more importantly, to the fact that we have actively embraced the development trend of our times and made the right historic choice,” Xi said during the Special Summit which he chaired.
The Chinese leader said they believe that respect is essential in international relations, and cited the Golden Rule.
“We have respected each other and acted by the basic norms of international relations. Oriental culture believes in ‘not doing to others what we do not desire ourselves’,” Xi said.
“Second, we have cooperated for win-win results and followed a path of peaceful development,” he said citing the “similar historical experiences” of China and the ASEAN countries.”
“We have firmly upheld regional peace and stability, stayed focused on development, taken the lead in establishing free trade areas, promoted high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and jointly concluded and signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), thus promoting integrated development of the region and well-being of our people,” he said.
The Chinese leader also proposed five key points for the future relations between ASEAN and China anchored on building a peaceful, safe, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home together.
China has been known for its aggressive stance in the South China Sea, the most recent incident of which is when Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and water cannoned two Philippine boats bringing food and supplies to its military troops in Ayungin Shoal.
-“Walk the talk,” says PHL’s Duterte-
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte used strong words in condemning the incident, saying the Philippines “abhorred the recent event in the Ayungin Shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments.”
“This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership,” he said during his intervention at the Special Summit.
Duterte also asked China to commit to the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, and pointed to UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award as landmark documents that will guide both sides in ensuring that the South China Sea remains a zone of peace and stability.
“Let us then walk our talk and move forward. Acta non verba which means deeds, not words,” he added.
(Eagle News Service)