|Xi pitches friendly neighbor line in Indonesia
President Xi Jinping said territorial disputes with Southeast Asia should be resolved in a “peaceful manner'' as he sought to mend frayed ties during the first speech by a foreign leader to the Indonesian parliament.
Making his first visit to the region since taking power in March, Xi turned to the issue of maritime territorial disputes – China's increasingly assertive claims to almost the entire South China Sea have sparked territorial rows in recent times, in particular with the Philippines and Vietnam, AFP reports.
Xi said that Beijing and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should resolve territorial and maritime disputes “in a peaceful manner so as to safeguard regional stability and peace.’’
“Southeast Asia is one important hub of the maritime Silk Road. China is ready to increase maritime cooperation with ASEAN,'' he said.
“China attaches great importance to Indonesia's role in ASEAN and is ready to work together with Indonesia and other ASEAN countries to make the two sides share the same prosperity.''
Xi arrived Wednesday to a ceremonial welcome in the capital Jakarta and held talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Chinese and Indonesian ministers also signed memoranda of understanding at the presidential palace to enhance cooperation in several industries, including tourism, technology and space research.
The Indonesian and Chinese central banks also agreed to a 100 billion yuan currency swap deal to shore up the ailing rupiah if necessary.