By Yang Sheng
Leaders and representatives from countries like Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, with whom China has experienced disputes and friction, still joined the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which is being held in Beijing from Sunday to Monday.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News, the Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party Toshihiro Nikai, who attended the forum in Beijing, planned to deliver a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The Belt and Road initiative focuses on economic and trade issues, so it’s very easy for countries to find and increase common interests. Disputes between them will be laid aside, and this is an effective measure to shift relations with neighbors from tensions into cooperation,” Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Sunday.
China and the Philippines will start bilateral consultations on the disputed South China Sea this week, the Philippine ambassador to Beijing said, as Manila looks to ease tensions with China, Reuters reported.
“Multilateral platforms are a good arena to solve bilateral problems. Although we can’t expect one meeting to solve all problems, at least it provides opportunities for dialogue,” said An Gang, a member of the academic committee of the Pangoal Institute, a Beijing-based think tank.
Aall key parties involved in the Korean Peninsula issue, including the US and North and South Korea, also attended the forum.
The forum has provided a valuable opportunity for the relevant countries to start engagement as the situation on the peninsula is still intense, An said.
South Korea’s delegation to the forum said Sunday that it held a brief meeting with its North Korean counterpart, Yonhap News reported.
South Korea’s delegation head Park Byeong-seung of the ruling Democratic Party said he had a short conversation with Kim Yong-jae, Pyongyang’s minister of external economic relations, at the Belt and Road forum.
But the US had apparently complained to China on Friday about North Korea’s attendance at the forum, Reuters reported.
“China is trying its best to create a friendly and peaceful environment for the relevant countries to sit down and talk, but if they have no sincerity at all, then what do they expect China to do? Do they really want our mediation?” An said. – (Global Times)
May 21, 2018 0
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily