Dr. Yumin Zhao Shares China's Perspective on the Hotly Contested South China Sea
HOUSTON, June 13, 2016 — On Friday June 3, Asia Society Texas Center hosted a luncheon with Dr. Yumin Zhao, Deputy Consul General of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Houston, where he shed light on China’s perspective on the hotly contested South China Sea issues. Zhao provided a historical foundation for the conversation first, looking back to the 1943 Cairo Declarations as well as President Deng Xiaoping’s attempts to “put aside disputes and seek joint development.” He explained that 40% of Chinese exports and 80% of Chinese crude oil travels through the South China Sea, making security in the South China Sea of paramount importance.
Zhao maintains that the PRC has resolved boundary issues with 12 of the 14 party countries and will continue to pursue a “dual track approach,” which utilizes both bilateral and multilateral negotiations. According to Zhao, the goal has been and continues to be peace and stability in the region. In closing, he asserted, “correct understanding of the intentions [of the PRC] is the key to solving problems. The PRC will stick to peaceful development [in the region] because of the country’s own strategic interests.”