Xi brings ASEAN into dis­cus­sion on Korean Penin­sula

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByByANANBAIJIEBAIJIE in Bei­jing an­bai­jie@an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.chi­nadaily.com.com.cncn

LIFE, PAGE 11

Chi­na­would­likeASEANto play a pos­i­tive role in main­tain­ing re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte while dis­cussing theKorean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue over the phone onWed­nes­day.

An­a­lysts said it’s quite rare for Xi to dis­cuss the Korean Penin­sula nu­clear sit­u­a­tion with a leader of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions, show­ing that the is­sue has in­flu­enced not just the penin­sula, but also the whole Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Xi said China is ded­i­cated to achiev­ing the goal of the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula, main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity of the penin­sula, and re­solv­ing prob­lems through di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion.

He called on all par­ties in­volved tomain­tain­re­straint and re­turn to the right track of di­a­logue­and­ne­go­ti­a­tion to re­solve the prob­lems.

Men­tion­ing that he met with Duterte twice last year, Xi said that the two­sideshave reached an im­por­tant con­sen­sus on im­prov­ing and de­vel­op­ing China-Philip­pine re­la­tions, which has led to the com­pre­hen­sive im­prove­ment of their ties.

The two coun­tries have es­tab­lished a di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion chan­nel for the South China Sea is­sue, Xi said, not­ing that the two sides have con­tin­u­ously en­hanced po­lit­i­cal trust and co­op­er­ated in all ar­eas.

China and the Philip­pines should stick to the di­rec­tion of friend­shipand­co­op­er­a­tion to ben­e­fit the peo­ple of both coun­tries, he added.

China ap­pre­ci­ated the Philip­pines’ ef­forts in the ro­tat­ing pres­i­dency of ASEAN in push­ing for­ward co­op­er­a­tion in East Asia, Xi said.

He also wel­comed Duterte’s at­ten­dance at the Belt and Road Fo­rum for International Co­op­er­a­tion and looked for­ward to meet­ing the Philip­pine pres­i­dent again dur­ing the event. The fo­rum will be held in Bei­jing onMay 14 and 15.

Duterte said Philip­pineChina friend­ship and sol­i­dar­ity are be­ing strength­ened, and the two coun­tries are speed­ing up exchanges and co­op­er­a­tion in all ar­eas.

The Philip­pines would like tomake joint ef­forts with­China to im­prove ties, he said, adding that he ex­pected to go to China to at­tend the fo­rum.

The Philip­pines is will­ing to push for­ward ASEAN-China re­la­tions, and en­hance co­op­er­a­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion over international and re­gional af­fairs, he said.

Jia Duqiang, a se­nior re­searcher of South­east­Asian stud­ies at the Chinese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said that it’s “new” for Xi to dis­cuss Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue with Duterte.

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