Xi encourages countries to better safeguard peace in concerted manner
President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for concerted effort to safeguard maritime peace and build a maritime community with a shared future.
Countries should better discuss and manage their differences and not resort to force or threats of force, he said.
Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, spoke while meeting with heads of foreign delegations invited to participate in multinational naval events in Qingdao, Shandong province, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy.
He said the oceans are of great significance for the survival and advancement of societies as they sustain life, connect the world and facilitate development.
"The blue planet that humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future, where people of all countries share weal and woe," he said.
Hence peace and tranquillity of the oceans is crucial for the security and interests of countries around the world, and this requires joint efforts to maintain, he said.
Xi called for more cooperation to address common threats and challenges and better consultation when issues or differences arise, instead of resorting to force or threats at the slightest pretext.
He said nations should also discuss issues on an equal footing, create better crisis communication procedures, enhance regional security cooperation and properly manage maritime disputes.
Xi said a high-level seminar on building a maritime community with a shared future will be held as part of the multinational naval events.
The reason China proposed jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Xi said, was to facilitate maritime connectivity, pragmatic cooperation in various fields and the development of a "blue economy", as well as to promote the integration of maritime cultures and to improve maritime well-being.
"We should cherish oceans as much as we cherish our lives," Xi said. He noted that China has fully participated in the formulation and implementation of the maritime governance mechanism and related rules within the United Nations framework and has implemented the goal of sustainable marine development.
China also attaches great importance to enhancing pollution prevention and safeguarding the oceans, protecting marine biodiversity, properly utilizing marine resources and bequeathing clear skies and blue seas to future generations, he added.
The PLA Navy will continue to actively shoulder its international responsibilities and duties, help maintain security in international waterways and provide more maritime security-related public services and products for the world, he said.
Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Luechai Ruddit said on behalf of the heads of foreign delegations that the Chinese government, military and Navy have made great efforts and actively contributed to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
He expressed his belief that the concept and proposal of a maritime community with a shared future will promote cooperation among navies and contribute to maritime peace and prosperity.
Yang Baoyun, a professor of international studies at Peking University, said building a maritime community with a shared future is a key part of promoting peace and progress for countries and regions involved in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as the world.
"The oceans' role in national security and development has been on the rise in recent years, and disputes can subsequently follow," he said, adding that China is no stranger to this trend.
As a result, nations around the world will need a new framework or rallying point to reach consensus and handle these issues through peaceful dialogue and cooperation, he added. "Building a maritime community with a shared future is an integral part of building a community with a shared future for mankind."
Xinhua contributed to this story.