China’s Xi says wants South China Sea issue resolved peacefully

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a state banquet held at the Istana or presidential palace as part of his official visit to SingaporeBy Rujun Shen SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China has always insisted the dispute in the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully through talks, but the government has a responsibility to protect the country’s sovereignty and maritime rights, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday. China has overlapping claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Speaking at the National University of Singapore, Xi said freedom of passage in the South China Sea has never been a problem and will never be a problem, but the islands there have always been Chinese.

 

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