SINO-US RELATIONS
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Donald Trump

China’s foreign minister says Beijing wants to manage disputes and promote bilateral relations with US

Wang Yi says Beijing wants dialogue with new Trump administration – but only on basis of respecting each other’s core interests, such as ‘one China’ principle

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 5:17pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 January, 2017, 11:04pm

China wants dialogue with the new US administration to manage disputes and promote bilateral relations, but only on the basis of respecting each other’s core interests, like the “one China” principle, China’s foreign minister said.

US President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated last Friday upset Beijing before taking office by casting doubt on the “one China” principle, under which Washington acknowledges Beijing’s position of sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan.

China views Taiwan as a wayward province, to be brought under its control by force if necessary. However, proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by Beijing.

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Speaking at a reception for the forthcoming Lunar New Year, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the future direction of Sino-US ties had “attracted attention”.

“We are willing, on the basis of strictly abiding by the ‘one China’ principle and respect of each other’s core interests, to have dialogue with the new US government,” Wang said, in comments posted on the ministry’s website late on Tuesday.

China was willing to “increase mutual trust, focus cooperation, manage and control disputes and promote the healthy development of China-US relations, to bring even greater benefits to both peoples”, he added.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang also struck back on Tuesday after Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary said on Monday that “the US is going to make sure we protect our interests” in the South China Sea.

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“I don’t think he [Spicer] is in a position to say that that’s international territory,” Kang told the US broadcaster NBC News in an interview.

“There might be difference, or controversial claims over the sovereignty of those islands, but that’s not for the United States. That might be between China and some other countries in this region.”

Separately, state news agency Xinhua quoted Chinese ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai as saying that while the Trump administration had yet to formulate a China policy, the general trend of China-US cooperation could not be reversed as it was “the only right choice” for both.

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In any trade war, both countries would suffer, he added.

“Currently, the world economy needs a strong engine to lead to stronger development and faster growth, it’s [an] inescapable responsibility for China and the United States to do this, rather than heading toward a trade war,” Cui said.

With Trump’s decision to quit the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, Cui said China could not take over the US role as the global leader who made trade rules.

“I think this is a misleading notion, because international trade rules cannot be made by the United States or China alone, and rather, they should be made and implemented by all nations in the world,” Cui said.