China no desire to fight for global leadership, only cares about its own affairs: Foreign minister

Wang said China seeks peaceful development and a "win-win" with other countries.

Kayla Wong | October 12, 2020, 04:00 PM

China has no intention of vying for world leadership with other countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Philippine counterpart, Teodoro Locsin, on Saturday, Oct. 10.

China seeks a different path from the West

According to an official statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang, in talks with the Philippines Foreign Secretary held in Tengchong city in Yunnan province, said that the development path China is taking is "completely different" from the one with traditional Western powers.

"We seek peaceful development and a 'win-win' with other countries at the same time," Wang said.

"China continually seeks to surpass itself, we do not wish to fight for world leadership with other countries as we want to focus our energies on our own business, and bring about better standards of living to the 1.4 billion Chinese population," he added.

Wang continued: "The development of China and the Philippines is an important part of humanity's modernisation. Our rights of development should not be deprived or disrupted by other forces."

In addition, Wang took the opportunity to talk about the South China Sea, saying that both China and the Philippines has successfully handled South China Sea issues over the past four years, and gained useful experience from the process.

He said: "Both sides must insist in dialogue to deal with any differences and set aside disputes so gains made in our bilateral relations are not affected."

Wang also said China supports Asean's leadership in the region, and opposes any forces that attempt to hurt Asean's position or affect the region's peace and stability.

China's charm offensive in Southeast Asia

Wang's meeting with Locsin comes amid China's diplomatic drive in Southeast Asia, which follows the new Mekong-United States Partnership with Lower Mekong nations such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The U.S. will provide around US$153 million (S$207 million) for collaborative projects.

China has been criticised for its dam construction in the upper Mekong that disrupted water resources to the Mekong nations.

Wang met with the Indonesian President's special envoy Luhut Binsar Panjaitan the day before, where they talked about cooperation on Covid-19 vaccination.

He visited Cambodia on Sunday, Oct. 11, and till Oct. 15, will be visiting Malaysia, Laos and Thailand next with a transit stop in Singapore.

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Top image of Wang and Locsin on Feb. 19 via China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs