China not to seek dominance over Southeast Asia: Xi

Beijing: Chinese leader Xi Jinping said his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbors, amid ongoing friction over the South China Sea.

Xi made the remarks during a virtual conference with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, held to mark the 30th anniversary of relations between China and the grouping.

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.

Xi’s remarks came days after Chinese coast guard ships blocked and sprayed a powerful stream of water at two Philippine boats carrying supplies to troops at a disputed South China Sea shoal and forced them to turn back.

China and ASEAN have for years been negotiating a code of conduct for handling matters in the South China Sea but those talks have made little progress of late.

Xi said peace was the greatest common interest” of all sides and China would exert its utmost to avoid conflict. (Business Standard)

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