Committed to peaceful settlement of bilateral disputes over South China Sea: Chinese PM

Chinese premier Li Keqiang said China is committed to peaceful settlement of bilateral disputes over the South China Sea with ASEAN nations despite differing views.

Li made the remarks on Monday after holding talks with President Joko Widodo at Istana Bogor in West Java, in his first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Indonesian President Joko Widodo speak during a meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia, on May 7, 2018. (Image: EPA-EFE)

“Together China and ASEAN will safeguard regional stability. And together we will safeguard peace, stability, freedom of navigation in the South China Sea,” Li said at a joint press conference with President Joko.

The talks included discussions on regional security and China’s Belt and Road Initiative projects in Indonesia.  Li’s visit also marked the fifth anniversary of a strategic comprehensive partnership between the two Asian giants.

The Tokyo summit comes amid warmer diplomatic relations between the three nations, catalyzed by an apparent detente on the Korean peninsula and growing concerns over trade protectionism.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a key shipping lane believed to be rich in marine and mineral resources. The other claimants are the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

Since 2012, China has stepped up island reclamations and construction in the disputed territories in the South China Sea, including building structures that appear to have military capabilities.

In 2016, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing has no legal or historical basis for its so-called “nine-dash line,” which demarcates its claims to almost the entire South China Sea.

Sources: Strait Times, ABS CBN News

Yelin Qiu

The Kootneeti Team - Beijing Watch

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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The Kootneeti Team

This report has been written by The Kootneeti Team. For any feedbacks/query reach Editor@thekootneeti.com || Twitter: @TheKootneeti

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