China has no intention to challenge present international rules: Xi Jinping

Beijing: China has no intention to challenge the present international rules and order and will never seek hegemony, President Xi Jinping said on Monday as he asked the US to effectively handle differences after an international tribunal struck down Beijing's claim over the strategic South China Sea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Reuters

Xi's comments came as China and the US held their first high level political and security dialogue here to discuss contentious issues bedeviling their relations.

Visiting Beijing for the first time after the 12 July tribunal verdict which struck down China's claims of historic rights over the South Chia Sea (SCS), US National Security Adviser Susan Rice on the first day of her three day visit held extensive talks with top Chinese civil and military officials and called on President Xi.

Both sides avoided public references to the SCS verdict but called for proper handling of differences.

In his meeting with Rice, Xi called on China and the US to effectively handle differences and respect each other's core interests.

The US wants China to implement the 12 July verdict of the tribunal appointed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration which Beijing outrightly rejected it saying it is illegal and null and void.

The US has deployed its naval fleet and conducted periodic flights and naval patrols through the SCS to assert the freedom of navigation which was strongly objected by China which claims sovereignty over all most all of SCS.

China-US common interests outweigh their differences, Xi said, noting that both sides needed more mutual trust and cooperation.

The goal of China's development is to benefit its more than 1.3 billion people, Xi said, reiterating that China has no intention to challenge the present international rules and order and it will never seek hegemony.

Xi called on both sides to expand economic, trade and investment cooperation, as well as cooperation in climate change and international and regional affairs to make pragmatic cooperation a "ballast" in China-US ties.

During her meeting with China's top military official, Rice was told that failure to properly handle sensitive issues between two countries could "very likely disturb and undermine" their military-to-military relations.

"We should be honest with ourselves that deep down in this relationship we're still faced with obstacles and challenges," General Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission told Rice.

CMC the highest military body in China and is headed by Xi.

Gen Fan said the military relations had been "impacted by some complicated and some sensitive factors”, he said skirting the SCS tribunal verdict.

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2016 21:30 PM

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