The Straits Times
Published on Sep 21, 2012

China's Xi seeks to reassure Asean on sea dispute


BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping sought to reassure South-east Asian leaders on Friday that his country wanted only peaceful relations with them, following months of growing tensions over the strategically located South China Sea.

Speaking at the opening of a trade fair in southern China for Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) members, Vice President Xi said China's own prosperity could only be guaranteed by having good relations with its neighbours.

"The more progress China makes in development and the closer its links with the region and the world, the more important it is for the country to have a stable regional environment and a peaceful international environment," Mr Xi said.

"Having gone through numerous vicissitudes in modern times, we are deeply aware of the importance of development and how valuable peace is," he added, according to state media.