China committed to peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
China is committed to achieving a peaceful settlement of territorial disputes in the South China Sea with ASEAN nations, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang told President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday.
Speaking at a joint press conference following a bilateral talk at the Bogor Palace, Jokowi and Li highlighted the importance of advancing cooperation to realize peace and stability in the region.
In his statement, Li said China shared the same commitment as that of Southeast Asian countries to maintain peace in the South China Sea despite differing views.
“Together [China and ASEAN] will safeguard peace, stability and freedom of navigation over flight in the South China Sea,” Li said.
The Chinese prime minister's visit to Jakarta marked the fifth year of the Indonesia-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as well as 15 years of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
The meeting was held on the heels of growing concerns over reports on China's militarization in the area. A US broadcaster claimed recently that China had missiles on disputed reclaimed islands in the South China Sea.
Jokowi said in his statement that the Indonesia-China partnership must be able to contribute to the realization of world peace, stability and prosperity based on a respect to international laws and norms.
Over the course of 50 years, ASEAN had been able to contribute significantly to peace and stability in Southeast Asia, Jokowi said. “Such achievement will be maintained and improved by ASEAN,” he added. (ebf)
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