ASEAN summit: Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that his country does not want to dominate Southeast Asia or dominate its smaller neighbours, amid the ongoing conflict over the South China Sea. Xi made the remarks on Monday during an online conference with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The conference was organized to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the ties between the two sides. Two diplomats said there was no representation from ASEAN member Myanmar in Monday’s meeting. Because the military-imposed government there refused to allow the ASEAN envoy to meet ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other arrested politicians.
Military ruler General Min Aung Huling was also barred from representing his country at the last ASEAN summit. China has repeatedly tried to address concerns about its growing power and influence. He has held talks several times with other ASEAN member states such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines, especially regarding his claim over the entire South China Sea. According to China’s official news agency ‘Xinhua’, Xi said, “China strongly opposes authoritarianism and power politics. It wants to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours, jointly maintain lasting peace in the region and certainly will not dominate or oppress smaller countries.”
Xi’s remarks came days after Chinese coast guard ships blocked two Philippine boats carrying supplies to troops off the disputed South China Sea coast and showered them with water. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned this incident during his remarks at the conference.
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