China committed to building community of common destiny with ASEAN (News Analysis)


SINGAPORE, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has elaborated here China’s commitment to peaceful development and its willingness to build a community of common destiny with ASEAN members, which enhances trust between China and neighboring countries, analysts said.

Xi’s speech at the National University of Singapore (NUS) was themed on deepening partnership to build beautiful homes together in the Asian-Pacific region. Xi refuted the so-called “China threat” theories and reiterated China’s commitment to maintaining peace and willingness to cooperate with neighboring countries.

Peaceful and stable environment in the Asia-Pacific region is the priority for China and ASEAN members. Without such precondition, cooperation cannot be realized, said Lee Chian Siong, senior advisor to chairman of China-ASEAN Business Association.

“Actually, the development of China, or the Chinese Dream, is closely related to the development of Asia and the world, which has reached sort of ‘me in you and you in me’ status,” Lee said.

Xi said the philosophy of peaceful development is in the genes of the Chinese culture. Citing the sufferings caused by foreign invasions and civil wars in recent memory, Xi said that “the Chinese people deeply understand the preciousness of peace and will never give up the resolve and desire to safeguard peace.”

Xi also stressed that the freedom of navigation and over-flight in South China Sea neither has been nor will be hindered. Although some South China Sea islands over which China has sovereignty have been illegally occupied by others, Beijing has always insisted on settling the disputes through peaceful means.

Chen Gang, research fellow at the East Asian Institute (EAI) of the NUS, said that Xi’s remarks on South China Sea issue revealed that China is willing to resolve the dispute peacefully. These words will help to ease tension in this region as well as enhance trust among ASEAN members toward China, he said.

Certain issues may be relatively easy to solve on the background that China is willing to promote the building of a community of common destiny with ASEAN, Xi hoped to solve the problem from higher prospective, Chen said.

In addition, Chinese president welcomed neighboring countries to board China’s express train of development during his speech. Gu Qingyang, associate professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the NUS, said these words showed China’s new diplomatic posture, that is, China will work with other countries for common development, and a prerequisite for common development is lasting peaceful environment.

Gu said that peaceful environment would not be achieved by signing agreements, but through economic exchanges, such as the Belt and Road initiative, which closely link the development of various countries together.

Li Mingjiang, associate professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, spoke highly of Xi’s speech, saying it is great that Xi expounded China’s view on regional issues and security policies comprehensively on such an occasion.

Li said the explanation is necessary, and Xi’s remarks sent out positive signals that China is willing to establish sound diplomatic relations to maintain peace.

“Supported by the strong aspiration to maintain peace in the region, China will be committed to achieving its goal in a practical way, to some extent, which will have a positive impact on region situation,” Li said.

 

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