Xi Jinping calls for building a maritime community with a shared future
Updated 15:15, 23-Apr-2019
CGTN
00:44

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for joint efforts to address common threats and challenges faced by mankind in the world's oceans and build a maritime community with a shared future.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks on Tuesday morning at a group meeting with the heads of foreign delegations invited to the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) in east China's coastal city of Qingdao.

On behalf of the Chinese government and military, he extended a warm welcome to naval officers and soldiers of various countries taking part in the events.

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Chinese President Xi Jinping takes a group photo with the heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

Oceans are of great significance for the survival and development of mankind, Xi said, adding that the world is "linked together by oceans as a community with a shared future."

Peace and security at sea matter for the safety and interests of countries around the world and need to be maintained and cherished through joint efforts, he noted.

The Chinese people are committed to the path of peaceful development, he stressed. "China firmly adheres to a defense policy that is defensive in nature and advocates a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security."

Navies have the important responsibilities of maintaining peace, security and good orders at sea, the Chinese president added.

Indian navy's destroyer INS Kolkata arrives in the port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April, 21, 2019, to join multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy. /Xinhua Photo

Indian navy's destroyer INS Kolkata arrives in the port city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April, 21, 2019, to join multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy. /Xinhua Photo

"We should respect each other, treat each other equally, enhance mutual trust, strengthen maritime dialogue and exchanges, and deepen practical cooperation among navies," Xi said, calling for a win-win approach to maintain maritime security.

The international community should "join hands in addressing all sorts of common threats and challenges in the oceans," he told the guests.

Multinational naval events are scheduled from Monday to Thursday to mark the PLA Navy's 70th founding anniversary, which falls on Tuesday.

Naval delegations from more than 60 countries and nearly 20 warships from over 10 countries will join the events, which also include high-level seminars and cultural and sports exchanges.

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The opening ceremony of the multinational naval events commemorating the 70th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy is held in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 22, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

The opening ceremony of the multinational naval events commemorating the 70th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy is held in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 22, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

21st Century Maritime Silk Road

During the meeting, Xi said ocean-based cooperation in market, technology, information, culture, and other areas is steadily deepening.

According to the Chinese president, the reason for the country to propose jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is to facilitate maritime connectivity, pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and the development of the "blue economy," as well as to promote the integration of maritime cultures and to improve maritime wellbeing.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by Xi in 2013. The "Belt" refers to the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt. The initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.

"We should cherish oceans as we treat our lives," Xi said.

China pays great attention to the building of marine ecological civilization, persistently intensifies the prevention and treatment of marine pollution, protects marine biodiversity and orderly exploits the marine resources in order to leave a blue sky and clean ocean for future generations, he added.

Children visit Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World during an event to raise awareness of protecting marine environment in Shanghai, east China. January 24, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

Children visit Shanghai Chang Feng Ocean World during an event to raise awareness of protecting marine environment in Shanghai, east China. January 24, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

Xi also said that the Chinese PLA Navy will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with foreign navies, actively take its international responsibilities, safeguard the security of international waterways and provide more public goods for maritime security.

Since 2008, the PLA Navy has sent 32 escort fleets, with 103 vessels, 69 helicopters and more than 27,000 officers and soldiers to escort over 6,600 vessels, more than a half of which were foreign ships.

As of April 2019, the PLA Navy has paid over 100 visits to 138 ports of 94 countries and has participated in more than 60 joint military drills with foreign navies.

Since 2010, the PLA Navy's hospital ship Peace Ark has traveled to 43 countries and regions and provided free medical services to over 230,000 people.

Handling of maritime disputes

"The sea is vast for it embraces so many rivers," Xi cited, calling for more and better consultations whenever an issue arises, instead of resorting to violence or threatening with violence.

China's 26th naval escort fleet's commander Wang Zhongcai (L2, front) shakes hands with David Elford, British Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England, during a farewell ceremony at West India Docks in east London's Canary Wharf, Britain, October 7, 2017. /Xinhua Photo

China's 26th naval escort fleet's commander Wang Zhongcai (L2, front) shakes hands with David Elford, British Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England, during a farewell ceremony at West India Docks in east London's Canary Wharf, Britain, October 7, 2017. /Xinhua Photo

All countries should consult as equals, improve the mechanism for communication in face of crises, strengthen regional security cooperation, and promote the proper solution to maritime disputes, according to Xi.

A high-level seminar on building a maritime community with a shared future will be held as part of the multinational naval events, he said.

Xi expressed his hope that the delegations would gather their ideas, build consensus and contribute their wisdom to building a maritime community with a shared future.

Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Luechai Ruddit, on behalf of the heads of invited foreign delegations, thanked the Chinese government, military and navy for their contributions to and efforts in advancing a community with a shared future for humanity, including a maritime community with a shared future.

He expressed belief that the concept and proposal of a maritime community with a shared future will promote cooperation among navies and contribute to maritime peace and prosperity.

(With inputs from Xinhua)

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