SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, stressing APEC members should pursue independent development and regional cooperation.
In those bilateral engagements, Xi underscored China's expectations for Asia-Pacific countries to pursue independent development, manage differences, and promote cooperation.
Independence is one of the keywords in Xi's meetings with leaders of Asia-Pacific countries.
In talks with his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the Chinese president said that China supports Mexico's independent development path in line with its national conditions and is willing to strengthen exchanges with Mexico in country governance.
Later in a meeting with Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Xi said that China's policy on Pacific island countries fully respects their sovereignty and independence, and does not attach political conditions or make empty promises.
The Chinese president told Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah that China supports Brunei in pursuing a development path suited to its own national conditions.
Having been reaffirming its support for countries to pursue an independent development path, China urges Asia-Pacific countries to respect each other's political systems and development models, while jointly opposing bullying, power plays, and interference in other countries.
Echoing Xi's remarks, Japanese scholar Kazuteru Saionji, a visiting professor at Higashi Nippon International University said that after the end of the Cold War, global development has entered a period of "diversity."
Countries in the Asia-Pacific region "should recognize and respect the diversity of political systems and ideologies among each other, rather than engaging in bullying and exerting pressure," said the scholar.
Managing differences and seeking consensus are also an important part of Xi's meetings with the Asia-Pacific leaders.
When meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Xi said the two sides should view each other's development with objectivity and rationality, foster positive and friendly mutual cognition, manage differences in a constructive manner, and translate the political consensus that the two countries are cooperative partners, not a threat to each other into specific policies and concrete actions.
Xi also stressed that major issues of principle related to history and Taiwan bear on the political foundation of China-Japan relations, and he urged Japan to honor its pledges and make sure that the foundation of bilateral relations will not be damaged or shaken.
On the South China Sea issue, the Chinese president told Brunei's leader that the two countries should make joint efforts to advance positive progress in joint maritime development and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
China stands ready to work with Brunei and other ASEAN countries to advance regional economic integration and maintain the right direction of East Asia cooperation, Xi said.
While there are differences and even conflicts among Asia-Pacific countries on specific issues, China recognizes that differences and conflicts are not the defining feature of relationships between Asia-Pacific nations, and China has always aspired to foster mutual development and prosperity with other Asia-Pacific countries by seeking common ground while shelving differences.
In a world fraught with turbulence and change, China, as a major economy, has voiced a clear position and attitude, demonstrating a highly cooperative and open mind, said Wang Qi, chairman of the U.S.-China Green Energy Council. "It seeks to manage differences and enhance cooperation, which holds importance in promoting the common development of the Asia-Pacific region."
Promoting cooperation is also a central theme in Xi's multiple meetings.
When meeting his Peruvian counterpart, Dina Boluarte, the Chinese president said the two sides should synergize their development strategies, and strengthen cooperation in traditional areas such as economy, trade, energy and mineral resources. The two presidents agreed to enhance Belt and Road cooperation.
In his meeting with the Fijian prime minister, Xi said as developing countries, China and Pacific island countries should strengthen mutual assistance within the framework of South-South cooperation, and that China has developed relations with Pacific island countries in a candid manner, without selfish motives or targeting any third party.
Hailing China as "an active player in the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation," Ahmed Kandil, an Egyptian expert in Asian affairs and head of the International Studies Unit at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said, "China has played a very important role in promoting common development and building a shared future for humanity in the Asia-Pacific region."
China's contribution to the Asia-Pacific "has positively reflected on the development of the region," said the scholar. ■