At his virtual summit with US counterpart Joe Biden on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping projected China as a peace-loving nation and said it never started a war nor claimed an inch of land of others as he played down the criticism that Beijing is increasingly getting aggressive over its territorial claims.
“Chinese people have always loved and valued peace. Aggression or hegemony is not in the blood of the Chinese nation,” Xi told Biden.
“Since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has never started a single war or conflict, and has never taken one inch of land from other countries,? he claimed, in an apparent attempt to play down criticism that Beijing is aggressively asserting territorial claims in the disputed areas, be that along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India, the South China Sea or the maritime dispute with Japan.
In the disputed South China Sea, which is claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan, China has built artificial islands to assert its claims.
China too was involved in a maritime dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea which the Chinese refer to as Diaoyu islands.