Singapore China on Sunday sought to ease concerns among its neighbours over its growing military might and said it was making efforts to undo " misunderstandings" while calling for an end to " cold war m

entality" and alliances directed against a third party, PTI reports.

Speaking at the Shangri- La security conference, Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie said his government was committed to maintain stability in the region, including in the South China Sea area.

He assured that China would never seek hegemony or military expansion though many people tend to believe that.

" This is a solemn pledge made by the Chinese government to the international community," he told the summit. He said China was working to promote mutual trust and common interests through defense and security cooperation with other countries to avoid " misunderstandings and mis- assessments and prevent conflicts and crises". " The situation in the South China Sea remains stable," said General Liang, adding that China had never impeded navigation freedom in the area.

Liangalt39s remarks came amid concerns raised by Philippines and Vietnam about the presence of Chinaalt39s show of force with the presence of its navy near the Spratly island, impeding the two countriesalt39 oil and gas exploration activities.

Liang said China has established consultation and dialogue mechanisms on defense and security with 22 countries, and has militaryto- military exchanges with over 150 nations.

" All these exchanges have helped the international community know better Chinaalt39s strategic pursuits and ( the current condition) of its military forces," Liang said.

" These efforts also help avoid various misunderstandings and mis- assessments and prevent conflicts and crises". China, he said aims to continue its pursuit of peace and development, as well as the pursuit of good relations with its neighbours and other countries.

Mutual respect, equal footing, and consideration for the core interests and key concerns of others and " no alliance directed against a third party" were among the principles propounded by him for advancing security cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

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