Tuesday, 14 August 2012

China tries partnership approach

Chinese  foreign minister Yang Jeichi  said over the weekend that Beijing “highly values the importance  of developing the strategic partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and is committed to its bigger role in East Asian cooperation and regional integration.”

Yang made the statement at the close of his two-day visit to Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia,  the second  of a three-nation swing  in Southeast  Asia  which, curiously,  does not include Hanoi and Manila,  which are challenging Beijing’s claims to the islands in  the South China Sea.
Yang earlier  made a similar two-day stopover  in Jakarta, and  is set  to  travel to Brunei today  to cap a three-nation diplomatic  blitz.

Interestingly,  while  Yang  was doing  his diplomatic blitz in Southeast Asia, Beijing  was busy  strengthening  its stranglehold  of the South China  Sea by  extending its air field runaway  in Woody Island,  the largest  water of the Paracel Islands (Xisha), where  Sansha City  is located.
In a report posted in the Hong-Kong-based Phoenix Television website,  Beijing  said Sansha city would become the “main Chinese military base” in the dispute over the South China Sea.
Asian Defence News

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