Saturday, June 21, 2014

China committed to settling maritime disputes via dialogue: premier

English.news.cn | 2014-06-21 06:47:57 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses the China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Forum in Athens, capital of Greece, June 20, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

ATHENS, June 20 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to settling maritime disputes through dialogues and negotiations, on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Friday.

Li made the remarks as he addressed the China-Greece Marine Cooperation Forum, where he called for stronger marine cooperation between the two nations, and expounded China's viewpoints on maritime affairs.

Pledging to jointly build a "sea of peace" with other countries, Li said China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and firmly oppose to any act of hegemony in maritime affairs.

"China firmly supports any act that safeguards marine peace and order, and firmly opposes any act that undermines marine peace and order," he said.

China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with relative countries and improve any bilateral and multilateral mechanism, to jointly safeguard free and safe navigation, fight against piracy and maritime terrorism, respond to marine disasters and construct a marine order of peace and tranquility, Li said.

He added that the country is resolute in safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is conducive to safeguarding regional peace and order as well.

Proposing to build a "sea of cooperation," Li said China is willing to work with maritime states to actively forge a marine cooperative partnership to build sea lanes, develop marine economy and use marine resources, among other endeavors.

While proposing to build a "sea of harmony," Li touched upon his vision in protecting the marine environment.

As to China-Greece cooperation, the Chinese premier said his country is glad to see Greece make achievements, pledging to continue to adopt cooperative measures to support the southern European country in reviving its economy.

Li also said that the two countries, which have already forged a comprehensive strategic partnership, enjoy a vast prospect for marine cooperation.

He proposed that China and Greece make good use of the "China-Greece Marine Year" event in 2015, establish an inter-governmental committee on cooperation, and enhance cooperation in such fields as marine technology, environmental protection, disaster prevention and management, and maritime law enforcement.

He also called on the two countries to make the Piraeus Container Terminal project, jointly operated by China and Greece, a bright spot in their cooperation, and build the Piraeus port, the largest in Greece, into the most competitive one in Europe and even in the world.

To that end, Li proposed to develop such industries as ship building and repairing, and reconstructing the rail linking the Piraeus to inland Europe.

He called on China and Greece to further cooperation in shipping industry and expand cooperation in trade and investment.

The premier also urged the two countries to make unique contributions to forging a modern marine civilization.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in his speech, hailed the sea as a significant platform for Greece-China cooperation, which connects the Chinese and Greek civilizations, as well as their markets.

Greece is ready to strengthen marine cooperation with China and jointly boost the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Samaras vowed.

Premier Li arrived here Thursday for an official visit, his first trip to Greece since taking office in 2013.

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