China accepts Indo-Pacific initiative for the first time

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China on Tuesday officially acknowledged the Indo-Pacific initiative for the first time, which it has been denying until now. “China has taken note of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters here on Tuesday. He was replying to questions related to the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-China dialogue ties. President Xi Jinping chaired the meeting on Monday via video link.

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When Lijian was asked about the mention of the strategic Indo-Pacific region in the China-ASEAN joint statement, he said, “I want to emphasize that China has always supported ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture.” and supports ASEAN in playing a greater role in regional and international affairs.”

Asked whether China sees any parallels between India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative and the discussions by China and ASEAN during Monday’s summit, the spokesperson declined to comment, saying, “I have just China’s position is clear.”

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Addressing China’s summit with ASEAN countries, President Xi said, “Joint efforts are needed to protect the stability in the South China Sea and make it an ocean of peace, friendship and cooperation.”

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