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Chinese analyst: Separate sea row issues from economic talks
2016-09-13 18:01:00

<Daily Tribune News> August 26, 2016

 

Chinese analyst: Separate sea row issues from economic talks

(From Speeches of Zhang Yuyan in Asian Institute of Management)

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

 

In  bridging  economic development in China and the Philippines; separation of politics  from discussion of economics must be pursued, a top Chinese economist yesterday said.

In the sideline. of a forum held  in Asian Institute of Management, Zhang Yuyan, director of lnstitute  of World Economic and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, urged stakeholders to separate politics from economics, referring to the intense dispute  among neighboring countries in the South China Sea.

The discussion was centralized in raising awareness on the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime  Silk Road Initiative which, according to Zhang, aims to bring together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe by linking China with the  Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the West Asia, connecting China with South China Sea.

Once solidified, the initiative will be able to promote policy  Coordination, facilities connectivity, financial integration, people-to- people bonds and an unimpeded trade among involved countries.

The initiative has already been  signed among 30 countries and  more than 20 states have worked with China in production capacity cooperation such as railway construction and nuclear power.

He clarified that there is no hidden agenda in this idea, "the export production and construction capacity is not only in the interest of China," he stressed.

Those countries whose financial resources and infrastructure are far from sufficient will also benefit he added.

Connecting this on the issue 0f the prominent maritime dispute which has prompted a landmark arbitration case, Zhang expressed that "politics are politics."

 Zhang said China is not trying to create a new economic order that will replace the existing world economic order.

To pursue a financially stable future, he advised to "try our best to avoid negative impact from the political side of the matter, referring to stop connecting their promotion of goodwill and 'development on the political issues surrounding the disputed South China Sea.          

He discussed that there's always an alternate step to maximize the contested region. As stated, the exclusive economic zone is traditional fishing ground for both Chinese and Filipinos, given this fact, Zhang said, "EEZ is very conducive in strengthening our economic interests.

Earlier, President Duterte had expressed hope that China will deal with the Philippines in good faith regarding the issue on contested region.

"I hope China is dealing with us in good faith. They seem to be conciliatory. We're not insisting on arbitral judgment," Duterte said last Wednesday.

Duterte was referring to the verdict of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration   favoring the Philippines' arbitration case against China's nine-dash line claim that covers virtually the entire South China Sea.