China should firmly uphold its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights while handling disputes but at the same time, the nation should step up diplomatic efforts with neighbouring countries, President Xi Jinping has said.
“We should firmly uphold China’s territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests and national unity, and properly handle territorial and island disputes,” Mr. Xi told the Central Conference of the ruling Communist Party of China on Saturday.
He added, “We should promote neighbourhood diplomacy, turn China’s neighbourhood areas into a community of common destiny, continue to follow the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, promote friendship and partnership, foster an amicable, secure and prosperous neighbourhood environment, and boost win-win cooperation and connectivity”.
Mr. Xi has emerged as the strongest leader in China, as he heads the party, military and the presidency.
His speech in this week’s conference will set the tone for Chinese diplomacy in trying to resolve disputes with a host of countries including India, Japan as well as the South China Sea dispute involving several southeast Asian countries.
“We should manage well relations with other major countries, build a sound and stable framework of major-country relations, and expand cooperation with other major developing countries,” Mr Xi said.
China should advance multilateral diplomacy, work to reform the international system and global governance, and increase the representation of China and other developing countries, he said.
“We should step up results-oriented cooperation, actively advance the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, work hard to expand the converging interests of various parties, and promote win-win cooperation through results-oriented cooperation,” he said.