China seeks to defuse bor­der is­sues

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By ZHOU WA and ZHAO YANRONG

China and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries should “prop­erly con­trol” bor­der dis­putes un­til bound­aries have been agreed, a se­nior diplo­mat in charge of boundary and ocean af­fairs said on Wednes­day.

Ouyang Yu­jing, a deputy di­rec­tor- gen­eral of the For­eign Min­istry’s depart­ment of boundary and ocean af­fairs, in­tro­duced China’s plan to deal with bor­der is­sues dur­ing an open day event at the min­istry.

Be­fore set­tling boundary dis­putes, China and rel­e­vant coun­tries should find a con­ver­gence of in­ter­ests through joint de­vel­op­ment to ease the tense sit­u­a­tion, Ouyang said.

He elab­o­rated on the three prin­ci­pals China holds to re­solve bor­der is­sues with its neigh­bors.

They should re­solve the boundary is­sue through di­rect ne­go­ti­a­tion, main­tain the sta­tus quo be­fore fi­nal set­tle­ment and defuse the is­sue through co­op­er­a­tion to cre­ate a stable and har­mo­nious at­mos­phere for an even­tual so­lu­tion, he said.

That plan has the low­est cost and small­est im­pact and will bring en­dur­ing re­sults, he said.

The deputy-di­rec­tor called for more con­fi­dence and pa­tience to re­solve the dis­putes, given that they are all sen­si­tive is­sues with com­plex fac­tors.

China shares bor­ders with 14 na­tions, in­clud­ing the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea, Rus­sia, Mon­go­lia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, In­dia and Nepal.

By May 2013, 20,000 kilo­me­ters, the de­mar­ca­tion of about 90 per­cent of China’s 22,000 km of land bound­aries had been agreed to with neigh­bors.

Bei­jing also shares mar­itime bound­aries with eight coun­tries — the DPRK, the Repub­lic of Korea, Ja­pan, the Philip­pines, Malaysia, Viet­nam, Brunei and In­done­sia. The no­table mar­itime dis­putes China has are with Ja­pan and the Philip­pines.

Ac­cord­ing to China’s Ocean De­vel­op­ment Re­port (2013), which was re­leased by the China In­sti­tute for Ma­rine Af­fairs un­der the State Oceanic Ad­min­is­tra­tion in May, the threats China faces come mainly from the sea, Xin­hua re­ported.

“Since 2012, the most di­rect mar­itime se­cu­rity prob­lems have been threats posed by sovereignty dis­putes over is­lands,” the re­port said.

China’s lead­er­ship has real­ized the sig­nif­i­cance of a peace­ful and stable neigh­bor­hood. There­fore, since the be­gin­ning of this year, China has ad­vanced its neigh­bor­hood diplo­macy with sev­eral im­por­tant events.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Premier Li Ke­qiang have vis­ited about a dozen neigh­bor­ing coun­tries since tak­ing of­fice in March to build mu­tual trust, ex­pand con­sen­sus, deepen co­op­er­a­tion and en­hance ties.

Mean­while, lead­ers of China’s neigh­bor­ing coun­tries have paid fre­quent vis­its to China. Con­tact the writ­ers at zhouwa@ chi­ and zhaoy­an­rong@chi­

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