China President Xi sidesteps South-east Asia pressure over South China Sea disputes
JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping showed no sign of bending to South-east Asian pressure to resolve increasingly irascible territorial disputes over the South China Sea on Thursday, simply repeating past calls for dialogue.
Mr Xi, in the first address by a foreign leader to Indonesian MPs, made no reference to regional demands, echoed in Washington, that Beijing deal with the rival claims through multilateral talks rather than with individual negotiations.
The issue is certain to overshadow two regional summits next week which Mr Xi will attend. US President Barack Obama's planned attendance is in doubt because of the US government shutdown.
"As for the disagreements and disputes between China and certain South-east Asian nations on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, both sides must always uphold the use of peaceful methods ...to maintain the broad picture of bilateral relations and regional stability," he told MPs on the second and last day of his visit to South-east Asia's largest country.