Diplomat: China stresses ties with neighbors

Updated: 2012-01-06 18:27


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Topic: South China Sea issue

Q: What's China's policy on the South China Sea issue?

A: First, China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands and its nearby waters, with sufficient historic and legal basis. To protect its sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is the fundamental goal of China’s diplomacy, which we will not change and deviate from.

Second, we have always committed to resolve the disputes of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests over the South China Sea with the concerned parties through negotiations and consultations based on the respect of historical facts and international law.

Third, before the resolution is reached, we advocate: first, put disputes aside and develop jointly economically; second, enhance mutual trust and clear up doubts politically; and third, have no fear over the crisis and spare no efforts to defend our rights and interests, and have good control of the crisis in case it deteriorates.

Q: What improvement have China and other Asian countries made in promoting and realizing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in South China Sea, and what does it mean for the peace and stability of the South China Sea?

A: Based on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, China and ASEAN countries established joint cooperation on five less sensitive areas including marine scientific research, environmental protection, search and rescue, and combating transnational crimes. It has played a positive role in maintaining the peace and stability in the South China Sea. The two parties also held negotiations on realizing the declaration, and reached agreement on its follow-up guidelines. We are also willing to establish a South China Sea code of conduct with them.

At present, we have launched pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the declaration, held seminars on maintaining the freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea as the declaration claims, and set up the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation fund. China and Vietnam have reached agreement in principle on resolution of their maritime problems. China and Indonesia also established a maritime cooperation committee and maritime cooperation foundation.