Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks about China-US relations and China's economic development in the Statemen's Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. During his US visit, which began on Monday and ended on Thursday, Wang met with US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top US government and opinion leaders, and discussed important bilateral, regional and global issues. [China Daily]
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks about China-US relations and China's economic development in the Statemen's Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. During his US visit, which began on Monday and ended on Thursday, Wang met with US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top US government and opinion leaders, and discussed important bilateral, regional and global issues. [China Daily]

“Several of our services are touching the South China Sea. We have not experienced anything negative (about the navigation freedom in the South China Sea) yet,” said Rainer Horn, spokesman for German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks about China-US relations and China's economic development in the Statemen's Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. During his US visit, which began on Monday and ended on Thursday, Wang met with US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top US government and opinion leaders, and discussed important bilateral, regional and global issues. [China Daily]
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks about China-US relations and China’s economic development in the Statemen’s Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. During his US visit, which began on Monday and ended on Thursday, Wang met with US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and other top US government and opinion leaders, and discussed important bilateral, regional and global issues. [China Daily]
Horn expressed hopes for continued peace across the region. He said Hapag-Lloyd was “monitoring closely local disputes” as they can have an impact on its business.

Dong Danqi, general director of the Dutch branch of COSCON, one of the top five global liners, said he “never heard of any saying that the South China Sea has any problem of freedom of navigation” during his 30-year experience in the shipping industry.

According to Dong, all trade by sea between China and Europe must go through the South China Sea. Nowadays, the world’s top six container shipping companies put their most up-to-date and largest container vessels on this route.

“It means that at least 5,000 ships from countries around the world are sailing through the South China Sea every day. None of them ran into any problem of freedom of navigation at all,” he said.

As to the construction activities on maritime features of the Nansha Islands, Dong said the facilities would surely benefit all passing ships.

“The islands with their lighthouses are used to serve as positioning indexes. I still remember how I looked at them during dozens of trips across the South China Sea when I was seaman in the 1980s. Now all ships are equipped with GPS, but this does not mean that the traditional positioning system is of no use,” he argued.

“The South China Sea remains among the world’s safest and most open seaways,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of an annual session of China’s top legislature on Tuesday.

China’s construction efforts on the new islands include not only necessary defensive facilities, but also those most dedicated to civilian infrastructure, said the minister.

Edo Simanjuntak, owner of the Indonesian Sandi Genesis Samuel Co. Ltd, said that his ships sailing across the area “can carry on with their activities without any disruption.”

Edo added that there was no report of Indonesian vessels being affected by the Chinese navy or China’s construction on the islands.

China said its infrastructure construction on the new islands was to help facilitate the navigation of civil planes and ships in the region.

The severe shortage of navigation safety facilities, emergency rescue forces and equipment to deal with oil spills in the South China Sea has impeded navigation security and economic and social development in the area, said Pan Wei, chief engineer of China Rescue and Salvage in the Ministry of Transport in January.

Edo echoed the remarks, saying that China’s infrastructure construction such as lighthouses would promote navigation safety in the sea where many ships and airplanes operate.

“(The facilities) could help vessels avoid hitting reefs or rocks when they accidentally are too close to the shore because of high waves or bad weather,” Edo said.

Free navigation is of vital importance to shipping companies, said So Nguon, president of So Nguon Group Co., Ltd., the biggest maritime company in Cambodia.

“We hope all concerning parties could continue talks for a peaceful settlement of their disputes,” he said, adding that “we don’t want to see anyone resort to force in solving the issue.”

So Nguon expressed welcome to lighthouses, hospitals and weather monitor stations built by China, which he said are important to ensuring a safe navigation.

Efforts to safeguard free navigation come in line with any concerning parties’ interests and freedom in navigation across the Asia-Pacific region is also conducive to security and prosperity of China, said Chheang Vannarith, chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies.

“China is destined to play a bigger and more important role in safeguarding the free navigation” in the region, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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