China media: Territorial disputes

Media say China will take a firm line on territorial disputes at a regional security summit in Singapore Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Media say China will take a firm line on territorial disputes at a regional security summit in Singapore

Media expect China to stand up to Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and "other countries" over territorial disputes at a regional security summit.

Mr Abe is expected to promote Japan as a counterbalance to China in his keynote address on Friday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, will lead the Chinese delegation. He will deliver a speech explaining the Asia security outlook, reports say.

The summit involves the US and Asean countries, and comes amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea between China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Japan-China ties are also strained over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The Global Times Chinese edition observes that China has "turned from an observer to an active participant" and will make use of such a regional platform to "ask the hard questions and to defend itself".

"The senior Chinese delegation attending the forum will show its professional and proactive attitude during the debate with the US, Japan, Philippines and Vietnam," the paper notes.

"China is sending senior officials and experts to this forum, and each of them has a role to play. This shows that Beijing is attaching great importance to the meeting. They are expected to respond to Mr Abe's speech as and when necessary," Zhou Qi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who is part of the delegation, tells the paper.

The Southern Weekly paper expects the Japanese PM to rally support from other countries to counter-balance and contain China and Russia.

"Mr Abe might form an alliance with countries that are locked in territorial disputes with China, and even use economic means to form a league led by Japan to counterweight China," it says.

Echoing a similar sentiment, an article on the Haiwai Net website adds that as China "transforms its diplomatic strategies and with the increase of national strength", it will need to "promote its idea of peaceful diplomacy to the world" and not just "remain an inactive participant" at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

"The best way to promote ideas is by confronting conflicting views… China can make use of this platform to tear down Mr Abe's hypocritical idea of 'proactive contribution to peace' which is offensive to Beijing. It can also use this occasion to deepen the dialogue with other countries, including the US," the commentary says.

Anti-terror drill

Meanwhile, media give prominent coverage to an anti-terrorism exercise in Beijing as President Xi Jinping pledged "better governance" in the north-western Xinjiang province.

Mr Xi repeated calls for ethnic unity and stressed long-term stability as the main goal for the area during a conference on the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on Thursday, reports say.

Chinese officials have blamed militant groups from the Muslim Uighur minority in the region for a growing number of violent attacks across the country.

Several media outlets publish photos and reports on the drill that took place in Beijing on Thursday, giving a detailed description of the "anti-terrorism tactics" that included a hostage rescue operation.

The Beijing News says that up to 3,000 police officers took part in the 40-minute exercise, the biggest anti-terrorism drill held in the capital.

Allaying fears that Beijing "has become unsafe", Mei Jianming, director of the Anti-Terrorism Research Centre at the Chinese People's Public Security University, tells the paper that the purpose of such drills is to "strengthen co-operation between different units".

"Beijing has been conducting such drills more frequently, which shows the determination of the government to fight terrorism… It does not mean the capital is unsafe, it rather shows that the authorities are very serious when it comes to security issues," he adds.

And finally, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged Malaysia to formulate a new working plan in the search for flight MH370 during a closed-door meeting on Thursday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, reports say.

Mr Najib arrived in China on Tuesday, but media coverage of his week-long state visit has been limited.

This year marks 40 years of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia but ties have been overshadowed by the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Most of the passengers on board the MH370 flight were Chinese, and their relatives have accused the Malaysian authorities of mishandling the search for the plane, which disappeared in March.

The People's Daily published an article by Mr Najib in which he reiterates his "firm belief" that "the friendship between China and Malaysia will never change".

Luo Yongkun, a researcher of South East Asian studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, says "Najib's visit illustrates the strategic position of China-Malaysia relations" which "would not be affected by the missing plane incident or by provocation from others".

"Relations with Malaysia are especially important to China amid tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam, and the political turmoil in Thailand," he tells China Daily.

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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