China wants 'path of peaceful negotiations'

Updated: 2013-01-29 07:54

By Zhu Zhe in Vladivostok, Russia (China Daily)

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China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said on Monday that the country will remain on the path of peaceful negotiations to settle historical land boundary issues with neighboring countries.

He also said China will properly manage disputes with relevant countries over the sovereignty of some islands and maritime rights and interests.

He made the remarks at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Monday.

About 360 parliamentarians from 25 countries in the region, including Russia, Japan and the Republic of Korea, attended the meeting, along with representatives of seven international organizations.

During a speech at a plenary discussion about the region's political and security issues, Wu said the Asia-Pacific region is generally peaceful, but hotspot issues and local conflicts occasionally flare up.

"We must reject the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game, respect each other's sovereignty and core interests, and oppose hegemony and power politics in all manifestations," said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body.

Recently, China has seen escalating territorial spats with Japan and some Southeast-Asian countries, which have triggered concerns that such disputes may threaten regional stability.

At Monday's meeting, former Japanese prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone urged politicians to properly handle the "narrow nationalism" that often appears in the region.

"APPF member countries must better understand the situation and each others' demands, and realize that we share the same destiny," said Nakasone, founder and current APPF honorary president, said in a written address to the meeting.

At the meeting, Wu also called for stronger interparliamentary dialogue and exchanges and leveraging the constructive role of such exchanges in developing state-to-state relations.

"Legislatures represent the people and reflect their will, playing an important role in the political life of their respective countries," Wu said.

"We need to urge our own national governments to pursue a foreign policy that is conducive to peaceful development and mutual benefit."

Russian President Vladimir Putin also said in a written address on Monday that the results of legislative activities go a long way to determining the directions and dynamics of socio-economic progress.

He said parliamentary diplomacy is important to rebuff existing challenges and threats, and to combine efforts to create a bloc-free architecture based on the principle of equal and indivisible security for all.

(China Daily 01/29/2013 page11)