Chinese leader Xi Jinping says his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbours as friction over the South China Sea intensifies.
China has repeatedly sought to overcome concerns about its rising power and influence in the region, particularly its claim to virtually the entire South China Sea that overlaps with claims by Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines.
“China resolutely opposes hegemonism and power politics, wishes to maintain friendly relations with its neighbors and jointly nurture lasting peace in the region and absolutely will not seek hegemony or even less, bully the small,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Despite regional frictions, Chinese leader Xi Jinping says his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbors.
Xi made the remarks during a virtual conference with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, marking the 30th anniversary of relations between the sides.
In other comments, Xi said peace was the greatest common interest” of all sides and China would exert its utmost to avoid conflict.
We must be the constructors and protectors of regional peace, insist on dialogue instead of confrontation, partnership and nonalignment, and join hands in dealing with various negative factors that threaten to undermine peace,” Xi said.