Pacific 'big enough' for US, China: ambassador

A Chinese frigate steams through the swell in 2010. Ambassador Ma says China should not be seen as a threat to its Asia Pacific neighbours. [AFP:Torsten Blackwood, file photo]
PHOTO

A Chinese frigate steams through the swell in 2010. Ambassador Ma says China should not be seen as a threat to its Asia Pacific neighbours. [AFP:Torsten Blackwood, file photo]

Shirley Escalante, Manila

Last Updated: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 17:25:00 +1100

China says it does not intend to use military force to interfere in the affairs of countries in the Asia Pacific region, including those claiming ownership of islands in the South China Sea.

China's new Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing says China should not be seen as a threat to its neighbours in the region, saying it only seeks to do is to protect its borders and sovereignty.

Ambassador Ma says China is open to a joint development of areas in the contested Spratley islands, while the dispute with the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam is still being resolved.

Asked about the US plan to increase its military presence in the region, the Chinese Ambassador said the Asia Pacific is big enough to accommodate both the United States and China.

"The Pacific is large enough for the US and China. We hope that the US will take a constructive role to make this region more peaceful and stable," the ambassador told reporters.

"It's up to you: military, economic (ties) with other countries. It's a basic principle not to intervene with other's affairs. Every country adopts its policy according to its national conditions."

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