China urges US to manage bilateral divergence, states stand on South China Sea

BEIJING (Global Times): The Chinese defence ministry released a statement on Monday (March 1) to answer media questions about China-US military ties, the current situation of the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea.

The ministry said that China hopes the US can work with China on implementing the consensus reached by the national leaders of the two countries to enhance communication and manage divergences.

The ministry did not release any details in response to a question about how the Chinese and US military sectors would start to engage with each other for dialogue and cooperation.

According to a recent report in Japanese media, Japan has expressed concern over Chinese law enforcement vessels' activities in the waters of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Chinese defence ministry said,"The Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory, and this fact has sufficient historical and legal basis.

The law enforcement activities carried out by Chinese government vessels within the territorial waters of China are legitimate and undisputed, and these activities will continue as a normal practice."

Japan is an important neighbour of China, said the statement.

"We hope that Japan will focus on the overall long-term development of bilateral relations... to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation," and to be cooperation partners to each other rather than posing a threat to each other, said the ministry in the statement.

Currently, France and the UK have sent or planned to send naval forces to the South China Sea to conduct "freedom of navigation" operations.

The ministry said that while regional countries are making efforts to turn the region into "a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation," China's determination to safeguard the peace and stability of the region will not be shaken, and will firmly oppose any country increasing its military presence and tensions in the region, interfering in regional affairs and harming the common interests of regional countries under the premise of "freedom of navigation."

On China-Russia military ties, some foreign scholars have predicted that Russia might seek a military alliance with China under pressure from the US-led NATO.

The Chinese defence ministry said in the statement that China and Russia insist on a non-aligned principle for their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and won't target any third country, which is totally different from the military alliances between some other countries.

When asked if China "would adjust its national defence policy," the ministry said China has unswervingly pursued a defensive national defence policy, and the Chinese military "firmly carries out its duties and missions, and resolutely defends safety and national sovereignty."

"Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, we have never launched any war nor occupied an inch of another country's territory.

"We won't surrender an inch of the territory inherited from our ancestors, and we want nothing from the territories that belong to other countries," said the ministry in the statement.

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