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China’s Xi urges closer naval ties amid regional tensions

/ 01:43 PM April 23, 2019

QINGDAO, China – Chinese President Xi Jinping is urging closer ties between the world’s navies amid tensions over China’s rapid expansion of its naval forces.

Xi made his remarks Tuesday to foreign naval officers attending a fleet review marking the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

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 China's Xi urges closer naval ties amid regional tensions

Chinese sailors sit during a concert featuring Chinese and foreign military bands in Qingdao, Monday, April 22, 2019. Ships from Chinese and foreign navies have gathered in Qingdao for events this week, including a naval parade, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Beijing is using the event to showcase its growing ability to exert force far from its shores and will feature its sole operating aircraft carrier, numerous surface ships and submarines and a display of naval aviation.

Xi said nations should talk through their differences as equals.

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His comments stand in contrast to China’s aggressive approach to its South China Sea territorial claims.

China has built military installations on man-made islands in the crucial waters, which are also claimed by several other nations. /gsg

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