China media: Xi Jinping in Europe

Mr Xi is on an official four-nation Europe tour Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Xi is on an official four-nation Europe tour

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Europe visit and calls for "rationality" over the Malaysian jet tragedy are the main themes in Monday's papers.

Mr Xi will visit the EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

According to the Xinhua News agency, Mr Xi will meet the leaders of several European institutions to further deepen the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership "with a view to jointly elevate" relations to "new heights".

Analysing China-EU relations, the Liberation Daily says Beijing is looking to establish a more "balanced" China-EU relationship with "multiple layers of diplomacy".

"Mr Xi's trip comes at a time when the Ukraine political crisis is taking place. It is difficult for Europe to remain calm when it is sandwiched between the US and Russia. Both China and Europe seek a multi-polar world, and both need each other's understanding and support," it adds.

Qu Xing, director of China Institute of International Studies, tells the Beijing Youth Daily that China will put in more effort in building relations with the EU this year after engaging Russia, the US and neighbouring countries last year, and such a plan reflects an "all-round" diplomacy idea of the new leadership.

Belgium is the last leg of Mr Xi's four-nation European trip. He has already visited the Netherlands, France and Germany, and also attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

Summing up Mr Xi's trip, the Beijing News comments that the visit shows that Europe is "economically, politically and culturally" important to China.

"For China, French culture, Germany's industries and European regional economic co-operation are the future growth focus of China, they are all worth learning," it adds.

"Calm and rationality"

Meanwhile, state-run media continue to call for calm and "rationality" after families of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight victims demanded apologies from the Malaysian authorities.

The Beijing-bound flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

Most of the passengers were Chinese, and dozens of their relatives arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

They have become increasingly upset with the perceived lack of information from the Malaysian authorities and wanted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to apologise for what they regard as misleading statements.

A commentary in the China Daily urges that "public opinion should not blame the Malaysian authorities for deliberately covering up information in the absence of hard evidence".

"Whether by official channels or follow-up civil litigation, we still need to speak with evidence and act according to the law, rather than through 'making a noise' or indulging in aggressive or irrational behaviour," it says.

Netizens and celebrities have been criticising the Malaysian government and some of them have even called for a boycott of its national carrier.

Coming to Malaysia's defence, the Global Times Chinese edition asks netizens to seek "clarification before attacking Malaysia".

"Although there are several mistakes made by the Malaysian authorities, but they are not that 'stupid, useless and chaotic'. There are many misunderstanding towards them," it says.

Territorial dispute

Elsewhere, media are highly critical of the Philippines for seeking arbitration at the UN over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The latest move comes a day after a Philippine ship reportedly evaded Chinese vessels to bring supplies to troops stationed on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, known as Ayungin in Manila and Ren'ai Reef in Beijing.

China claims a U-shaped swathe of the South China Sea - creating multiple overlaps with areas claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The Philippines says that China's claims are illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China has refused to take part in the arbitration and warned that the case will damage bilateral ties.

In a harsh tone, the Chinese edition of the Global Times describes Manila's provocation aided by the West as "clown-like".

It adds that Manila is "increasingly isolated because a majority of ASEAN countries oppose Manila's actions".

"China will not accept or participate in the international arbitration unilaterally initiated and pushed by the Philippines, nor will it implement any decision by the tribunal," it insists.

Echoing similar sentiments, the overseas edition of the state-run People's Daily warns the "real danger" is when the Philippines ignores Beijing's stance that China will uphold its territorial integrity and that no country should expect Beijing to give way on the issue of sovereign rights.

It reminds other countries, "including the US", to be "more sober" and not to act "irresponsibly" to encourage Manila. The paper adds that such support "would not help the Philippines to snatch an inch of land away from China".

The China Youth Daily factually reports on Manila's plan and describes the action as a "farce" and "sensationalising" by hyping up media attention on the issue.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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