China argues that South China Sea is not a problem between China and ASEAN; China demands that Hanoi cease its harassing actions against a Chinese oil rig in waters off an island in the South China Sea; Chinese political advisor meets the Taiwanese People
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • (MAY 5-11)

    According to reports, as a response to the statement issued by the ASEAN foreign ministers in Myanmar with respect to “serious concerns” over the developments in the South China Sea, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying responded by saying that the South China Sea is not an issue between China and ASEAN. Hua Chunying further added that, “the Chinese side is always opposed to one or two countries’ attempt to use the South Sea issue to harm the overall friendship and cooperation between China and the ASEAN”. 1

    According to reports, Beijing on May 9 demanded that Hanoi cease its harassing actions against a Chinese oil rig in waters off an island in the South China Sea and called for dialogue to end the conflict. Since May 2, Vietnam has carried out intensive disruptions of a Chinese company's normal oil drilling in waters administered by China. China is deeply surprised and shocked, said Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, on Thursday. Yi said the Xisha Islands are inherent territory of China and there are no disputes in this area. The oil rig operation is undertaken by China Oilfield Services Ltd, and it is a normal drilling activity in the coastal waters off the Xisha Islands of China.” 2

    Reports noted that the Chinese top political advisor Yu Zhengshend met with the Chairman of Taiwan’s People First Party (PFP) James CY Soong on May 7. During the meeting Yu said that, “We have the responsibility and confidence to maintain and develop cross-Strait relations”. "We have the responsibility and confidence to maintain and develop cross-Strait relations," said Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. He urged adhering to the "1992 consensus," opposing "Taiwan independence," and promoting cross-Strait political mutual trust. 3

    According to reports, commenting on the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang three day visit to Nigeria, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Gu Xiaojie said that, “Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa while China is the biggest developing country in the world, and the relationship between Nigeria and China has been very cordial”. Li's visit will strengthen mutual political trust, as well as expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, Gu said, noting that Nigeria has its urgent needs in infrastructure development, energy and hydropower. 4

    According to reports, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on May 5 held talks with Iranian Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Hossein Dehqan in Beijing. Chang said the development of bilateral relations has remained positive and steady, featuring frequent high-level exchanges and deepened political mutual trust. Witnessing increased mutual visits and personnel training cooperation between the armed forces, Chang said he is confident that the friendly relations between the two countries as well as the armed forces will be reinforced. This is Dehqan's first visit to China since he took office. He voiced the hope that the two countries will continue to play a positive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability. 5

    In other developments, according to reports, Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva will pay a state visit to China from May 12 to 18, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday. Cavaco Silva is invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hua said at the ministry's daily press briefing. 6

    According to reports, during his visit to Ethiopia the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed a number of deals. Infrastructure in Ethiopia is expected to get a boost as China vowed to help upgrade the nation's power grid and road system. Under the deals, China will assist the Ethiopian government in renewing roads in its capital and offer loans to upgrade the local power grid and an intercity road construction project. They also reached agreements in agriculture, industrialization and other sectors closely related to both countries' development. China has already funded Ethiopia's first expressway project and is building a light-rail transit system in Addis Ababa. The $475 million project being executed by China Railway Engineering Corp is scheduled to carry passengers next year on a trial basis. 7