China for settling disputes through Talks, says foreign minister Wang Yi

31 Jan 2018

China will play a constructive role in resolving regional hotspot issues and promote settling disputes through talks, foreign minister Wang Yi has said amid the country's territorial and maritime disputes with neighbours.

Wang also said China would also cement friendship and cooperation with neighbouring countries and developing countries.  "China will continue to play a constructive role in resolving regional hotspot issues, and promote settling disputes and conflicts through dialogues and consultation," he said a New Year reception for Beijing-based diplomats yesterday. Wang's comments came amid China's maritime disputes with its South China Sea neighbours. China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including islands more than 800 miles from the Chinese mainland, despite objections from neighbours such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

The minister said China would further promote the Belt and Road Initiative in 2018, and implement the consensus reached at the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing in May 2017. Touted as Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious project, the One Belt One Road initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. The BRI also included the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which India opposed as it goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. "China will deepen its global partnership network in 2018, and is committed to building a major-country framework featuring stability and balanced development," Wang was quoted as saying by the official media. Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi also attended the reception with more than 400 participants from foreign diplomatic missions to China and various Chinese departments, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.