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China will not give up its rights but will enhance ties along border: President Xi Jinping

“China will never pursue development at the expense of other’s interests, but nor will China ever give up its legitimate rights and interests. No one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests,” said President Xi Jinping.

Written by Apurva | Beijing | Updated: October 19, 2017 7:14 am
China's border disputes, President xi Jinping, china and its neighbours, China's border disputes news, China's relations with its neighbours, china relations with mebouring countries, international news, world news, latest news Chinese President Xi Jinping said “We (China) should commit to settling disputes through dialogue and resolving differences through discussion, coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional threats, and oppose terrorism in all its forms.” (Reuters Photo)

Delivering a strong message to China’s neighbours and world powers, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that his country will not give up its legitimate rights or let anyone undermine its interests.

Addressing the 19th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi also said that the country will enhance relations along its borders and open up more to the world. He further advocated a strong, modernised military that can deter and win wars.

“China will never pursue development at the expense of others’ interests, but nor will China ever give up its legitimate rights and interests. No one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests,” Xi said, adding that the country would never seek “hegemony or engage” in any expansion.

Delivering a three-and-a-half-hour speech during the opening ceremony of the week-long Congress, the Chinese President also underscored the importance of the “five principles of peaceful coexistence” or Panchsheel — the set of principles that India and China agreed to in 1954. “China will deepen relations with its neighbours in accordance with the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbours,” Xi said.

The Chinese President’s speech comes against the backdrop of a recent face-off between the Chinese and Indian armies in the Doklam area east of Sikkim. The standoff was defused late in August, days before the BRICS summit in Xiamen where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi agreed to strengthen communication lines and coordination.

On Wednesday, Xi also asserted that China would never allow separatist activity in the country, in what appeared to be an indirect reference to the Dalai Lama. “Any separatist activity is certain to meet with resolute opposition of the Chinese people. We will never allow anyone, any organisation, or any political party, at any time or in any form to separate any part of Chinese territory from China,” he said.

China, which protested against the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh earlier this year, has repeatedly referred to the spiritual leader as an “anti-China separatist”.

Referring to national security, Xi said, “We will improve our national defence mobilisation system, and build a strong, well-structured and modern border defence, coastal defence and air defence.” He added that the government would accelerate development in border areas and ensure their safety and security, and step up efforts to ensure that China becomes a strong maritime country.

Xi acknowledged that contentious issues often arose in some regions and that unconventional security threats like “terrorism, cyber insecurity, major infectious diseases and climate change” continue to spread. The Chinese government has always maintained that regional conflicts include the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, Kashmir and Afghanistan.

“We should commit to settling disputes through dialogue and resolving differences through discussion, coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional threats, and oppose terrorism in all its forms,” Xi said.

The Chinese President said that China rejected “cold war mentality and power politics” and preferred developing state-to-state relations with “communication, not confrontation, partnership not alliance”. “We… oppose acts that impose one’s will on others or interfere in the internal affairs of others as well as the practice of the strong bullying the weak,” he said.

The President also vowed to make it his mission to modernise China’s military within the next two decades. “We will upgrade our military capabilities, and see that by the year 2020, mechanisation is basically achieved… Make it our mission to see that by 2035, the modernisation of our national defence and forces is basically completed,” he said.

Xi said that the military would be strengthened to adapt to the “new era” and would have to shoulder the “missions and tasks of the new era entrusted to them by the party and the people”.

“A military is built to fight. Our military must regard combat capability as the criterion to meet in all its work and focus on how to win when it is called on. We will develop new combat forces and support forces, conduct military training under combat conditions…and the ability to fight under multidimensional conditions. This will enable us to effectively shape our military posture, manage crises, and deter and win wars,” he said.

Xi also summarised the party’s work since he took over as general secretary in 2012 and laid out the agenda for the next five years. Flanked by former presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin during the ceremony, Xi’s address also focussed on the need to continue the anti-corruption agenda within his party.

Over the next week, the Congress will discuss the party’s performance and policies fundamental to China’s development, elect a new leadership team, including the Central Committee of the CPC and the country’s top anti-graft body, and amend the CPC constitution to include Xi’s thoughts on governance.

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  1. B
    Oct 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    The truth is that China is a very dangerous despotic racist imperialism and has to be countered by a world alliance of powerful nations before it is too late. To call them Marxist is absurd. The situation is slightly better today because the USA (which did so much to create this frightening problem by giving China a free run of its market) at least belatedly recognises the deadly threat and is beginning to coordinate alliances with Japan and India to contain China. Also, the Chinese made the terrible mistake of prematurely baring their hostility to India in the current standoff over the Bhutan border, and put India on its guard. Now India is speeding up and enhancing its defence arrangements with the USA and Japan. Only the USA, India, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea count in the fight to stop Chinese imperialism from taking over the world. Europe and Russia sold out long ago.
    1. A
      Oct 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm
      Xi states thay he/China opposes... "strong bullying the weak" but this is exactly what China did to Tibet and Tibetians. They not only bully... but killed.. and killed... and continue to do so. Ethnic cleansing in Tibet started shortly after Mao came to power. This is the story and history of Communist China. The India-China War in 1962 and subsequent land grab of parts of Leh/Kashmir are the same aspirations as those of Hitler.... nothing more... nothing else..... yes another Fascist nation is in the making in China...
      1. K.c. Arora
        Oct 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm
        Heard the Chinese President? India's only be ing response can be: 'Kar khudi ko itna 'buland-------' means India should make itself so strong and impregnable that dare stand before any country looking straight in one's eyes while confronting India is possessed with all such opportunities to make any thing possible. Only draw back is good and worthy leadership. People are desperately in search of such a dynamic energy and hope will find soon. There is no dearth of Human resource which after properly developing can enable India surpass China. The regretful aspect is India intentionally or un-intentionally ignoring such a boon which it may repent later on. Every body can hope for th best
        1. S
          Oct 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm
          Be clear is good of communist China, but remember, the PLA had occupied Tibet and part of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradish. This can't be unanswered. If this dictatorship believes only they has the right to decide above the right of other countries, they fully mistaken. The Government of India must be clear too. If not, the future Government of India of Sree Seva Sena NEVER will accept the forcefully occupation of Tibet and parts of India, no matter the costs. Free India never will accept any domination of communist dictatorship of China. China must respect the LAW of the NATIVES. Tibet is not Chinese!
          1. J
            Joseph Elias
            Oct 19, 2017 at 11:27 am
            Other country must not understand that India is weak. India has sufficient strength to protect its citizen and also control the border issues with all our neighboring country with bilateral dialog and with the help of military if needed. India is progressing very fast and will acquire more advance technologies to strengthened India in future and become one of the strong leaders in the world.
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