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Xi proposes building maritime community with shared future

By ZHANG ZHIHAO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-04-23 14:44
President and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping holds a group meeting with the heads of foreign delegations invited to the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on April 23, 2019. Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government and military, extended warm welcome to naval officers and soldiers of various countries who are here for the events. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for concerted efforts to safeguard maritime peace and build a maritime community with a shared future.

Countries should better consult and manage their differences, and not resort to force or threats of force, Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said while meeting with the heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in the multinational naval events marking the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Xi said the oceans are of great significance for the survival and development of human societies by creating lives, connecting worlds and facilitating development.

"The blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future, where people of all countries share weal and woe," he said.

Hence the peace and tranquility of the oceans is crucial for the security and interests of countries around the world, and this requires joint efforts to maintain, he said.

The Chinese people love peace and will resolutely pursue the path of peaceful development and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, he said.

Xi called for joint efforts to address common threats and challenges at sea, and safeguard maritime peace and tranquility.

At present, ocean-based cooperation in market, technology, information, culture, and other areas is steadily deepening, he said.

The reason for China to propose jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Xi said, is to facilitate maritime connectivity, pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and the development of the "blue economy," as well as to promote the integration of maritime cultures and to improve maritime well-being.

"The Chinese armed forces are willing to work with their foreign counterparts to actively contribute to maritime development and prosperity," Xi said.

"We should cherish oceans as we treat our lives," Xi said. He noted that China has fully participated in the formulation and implementation of maritime governance mechanism and related rules within the UN framework, and implemented the goal of sustainable marine development.

China attaches great importance to enhancing pollution prevention and treatment of marine environment, protecting marine biodiversity, utilizing marine resources properly, and leaving a clear sky and blue sea to future generations, he added.

The PLA Navy will continue to actively shoulder its international responsibilities and duties, help maintain security in international waterways and provide more maritime security-related public services and products for the world, he said.

Xi also called for more and better consultations when there is an issue or difference, instead of resorting to force or threats at the slightest pretext. Nations should also uphold equal consultation, create better crisis communication mechanisms, enhance regional security cooperation, and properly manage maritime-related disputes, he said.

A high-level seminar on building a maritime community with a shared future will be held as part of the multinational naval events, he said.

Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Luechai Ruddit, on behalf of the heads of foreign delegations, said the Chinese government, military and navy has made great efforts and actively contributed to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

He expressed belief that the concept and proposal of a maritime community with a shared future will promote cooperation among navies and contribute to maritime peace and prosperity.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

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