Amid growing concerns over China’s tough stand on various foreign policy issues including maritime disputes and passports with controversial maps, Beijing has sought to assure its neighbours asserting that it has established friendly relations with them.
“We have advanced our ties with other countries and deepened good-neighbourly friendship and cooperation with our neighbours,” Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told foreign diplomats here yesterday in his first briefing after last month’s leadership change.
“We have played responsible and constructive role of a big country in dealing with international and regional hotspot issues, worked actively to push for peaceful settlement of disputes, and stood for non-intervention in others’ internal affairs and other basic norms governing international relations,” Yang said.
The publication of disputed maps on new e-passports being issued by the Chinese government riled number of neighbours including India, prompting China to initiate counter measures.
While India is using a seal with its official to stamp visas on the passports, Vietnam is issuing visas on separate peace of paper as the map claimed China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea which Vietnam, besides Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also claimed.
China is in dispute with Japan too regarding claim over islands in the East China Sea.
Beijing plans to step up public diplomacy after last month’s leadership change, in which Vice President Xi Jinping succeeded Hu as leader of the ruling Communist Party of China.
Yang, in his address, said China will work with other nations toward world peace and development.
“China will, together with all other countries, share opportunities, tackle challenges, and make new and greater contribution to the lofty cause of peace and development for mankind,” Yang said.