BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China is determined to defend "every inch" of its territory and would like to handle its territorial and maritime disputes with others by peaceful means, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
"We will not take anything that is not ours, but we will defend every inch of territory that belongs to us," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
"We will never bully smaller countries, yet we will not accept unreasonable denounce from smaller countries," he said, responding to a question about China's neighborhood diplomacy policy.
Wang said that the general situation in China's neighborhood remains "stable and positive."
He said that China would like to carry out equal-footed consultation and negotiation, and properly handle its territorial and maritime disputes with some countries by peaceful means on the basis of historical facts and the international law.
"There will not be any change to this position," the minister said.
He said that China has been interacting with neighbors for thousands of years and his country has all long valued harmonious relations and treated others with sincerity.
"When others respect us, we respect them even more," said Wang. "We will more actively practise our neighborhood diplomacy guideline of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness."
He pledged to let more of China's neighboring countries and people benefit from the world's second largest economy's reform and opening.
"We are also willing to listen to the voices from our neighboring countries and respond to the doubts about China's neighborhood diplomacy policy," Wang added.
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