Chinese president Xi Jinping addresses Australia's parliament
Chinese President Xi Jinping vows to address territorial tensions through political negotiations in his Australian parliament address Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to resolve territorial disputes with neighbouring nations through political negotiations.

In his address to the Australian parliament in Canberra, he has however reiterated Beijing will not compromise on its territorial sovereignty hinting there will be no change in its policies pertaining to the East and South China Sea tensions.

"The Chinese government is ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation with relevant countries to jointly maintain freedom of navigation and safety of maritime rules, and ensure a maritime order of pies, tranquillity and win/win cooperation. At the same time, the Chinese people will firmly uphold core interests of China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," the Chinese leader, who remained in Australia following the two-day G20 summit, said in his remarks.

Reasserting China's political weight in the Asia-Pacific region, Xi said: "It is China's long-standing position to address peacefully its disputes with countries determined on territorial sovereignty, through dialogue and consultation. China has settled land boundary issues with 12 out of its 14 neighbours through friendly consultation; and will continue to work in this direction. China sincerely hopes to work with other countries in the region to build a harmonious and a prosperous Asia Pacific."

Shortly after Xi's address to the Australian parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Xi appeared in a joint press conference.

Abbott hailed Xi's speech by saying it has "historical significance".

"I think we have heard from the President of China a speech that will be studied and analysed for weeks and months and years to come. I think we've heard from the President a speech of historical significance," said the Australian premier.

The two countries have agreed on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is seen as a major boost to Australia's mining and service sectors. Australia's PM office said the FTA includes commercial projects which may be worth up to Australian $20 billion (£11.2 billion).