Xi Jinping insists China wants stability, but will not back down on disputed islands
The Chinese leader tells the US’s top defence envoy that Beijing’s claims to the disputed islands in the South China Sea are sovereign and peaceful
Beijing — Chinese President Xi Jinping told US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday that China has no plans to create chaos in the world — although he defended his country’s claim to disputed islands in the South China Sea. Answering Mattis’s open questions about China’s strategic intentions, amid rising tensions between the two countries, Xi stood firm on the Beijing’s occupation of small islands in the centre of Southeast Asia, where it has installed modern weapons systems, runways and aircraft hangers. "Chinese people must build a strong socialist modernised country, but we insist on taking the path of peaceful development. We will not follow the path of expansionism and colonialism, we will not bring chaos to the world," Xi told the visiting Pentagon chief. But Xi, quoted by Xinhua news agency, added: "While seeing the existing common interests of China and the US, we also do not shun the differences that exist between the two sides.
"Regarding the issue of China’s ...