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Rising China a 'work in progress': Aquino
by Staff Writers
Honolulu, Hawaii (AFP) Nov 11, 2011

China is a "work in progress" whose government model and attitude overseas are evolving, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Friday, urging "long patience" with the rising giant.

China-Philippine tensions have increased recently as the Asian superpower has sought to assert territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea that overlap with Manila's and those of other countries in the region.

"Sometimes there are instances of tensions and there are conflicts," said Aquino, speaking in Honolulu ahead of a weekend summit of Pacific Rim leaders here that will include US President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao.

"We recognize that they (China) are a system that is relatively young in its transformative phase. They are still defining exactly the entire model of their state and how they govern their people," he said.

"If one looks at them as a work in progress and exercises long patience and seeks out those who are of like mind on the opposite side, then the idea of enhanced cooperation and mutual growth can be further assured."

The South China Sea's resource-rich waters and strategic island groups are claimed in whole or in part by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

The Philippines has accused the Chinese military of aggressive acts in Philippine-claimed areas, including firing on Filipino fishermen, laying buoys and harassing an oil exploration vessel.

Vietnam also has made similar allegations.

Amid the tensions, Aquino has been trying to get Southeast Asian neighbors to form a united front against China's sovereignty claim on the entire South China Sea.

The Philippines has called for settling the disputes through international law and the creation of a "zone of peace" in the South China Sea.

China, however, has insisted its claims are legitimate and that any discussions on the issue be on a bilateral basis, which analysts say reflects a fear on Beijing's part of any such united front over the issue.

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US presses China ahead of Asia-Pacific summit
Honolulu (AFP) Nov 10, 2011
The United States on Thursday pressed China for reform on human rights and its economy, making a bid to set the rules for a fast-growing Asia as it welcomed Pacific Rim leaders to a Hawaii summit. As police sealed off Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach, leaders began to arrive for the weekend talks including President Hu Jintao of China, which days earlier criticized the US goals for the summit ... read more

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