Mutual respect key to China-US talks, FM says

2021-04-06 12:04:50

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. [Photo/Xinhua] China-United States dialogue should be based on mutual respect and equality, and no country should enjoy superiority in the world, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. China-US cooperation should benefit both sides, and China does not fear confrontation, Wang said in an interview to round up his recent series of one-on-one meetings hosting the foreign ministers of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea in Fujian province from Wednesday to Saturday. Before the meetings, he took part in the China-US high-level strategic dialogue in Anchorage, Alaska, which drew the attention of countries including those in Southeast Asia. Wang confirmed in the interview that he and his colleagues talked and compared notes about the China-US dialogue. It is "reasonable" for countries in the region to keep a close watch on China-US relations, and how China and the US interact matters to global peace, stability, development and prosperity, Wang said. The visiting ministers told Wang that China's move toward prosperity is a natural episode of history that lives up to the common expectations and long-term interests of all countries in the region and is irresistible and unstoppable. Also, the countries believe that in the era of globalization and the post-pandemic era, China and the US should have more dialogue and cooperation related to the region, as well as less confrontation, and should fulfill their obligations and show a great sense of duty as major countries, according to Wang. "It is hoped that the US side will earnestly respect China's core interests and view China's development properly," Wang said. Washington should also "proactively respond to the expectations of countries in the region and the international community, work with China to jointly show what major countries should be like, and jointly safeguard peace, stability and development in the region and the world", he added. China is willing to respond to the expectations of all sides and will continue to make its own efforts, he said. The meetings took place as the US and some of its allies continued to pressure China by hyping the human rights issue in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and threatening sanctions. Wang stated firm opposition to "gross interference in China's internal affairs" and "illegal unilateral sanctions imposed based on lies and false information". "China cannot compromise because we adhere to the basic norms of international relations. China cannot back down because there are many developing, small and medium-sized countries behind us. And China certainly has the right to fight back, as we must defend State sovereignty and national dignity," Wang said. When it comes to dialogue with the US, Wang said the door of the Chinese side will be open at any time, but the dialogue should be conducted on the basis of equality and mutual respect. "China does not recognize that there are superior countries in the world, and it does not accept that only one country could have the final say in the affairs of the world," he added. China welcomes cooperation, but cooperation requires addressing each other's concerns and ensuring mutual benefits, not one side proposing conditions and drafting a to-do list for the other, Wang said. If there is to be competition, China will not shy away from it, but it should be fair and on a level playing field and should abide by market rules, and there should be no use of power that is allowed to deprive others of their legitimate right to development, he said. If Washington persists in confrontation, Beijing will "tackle it calmly and face up to it fearlessly", he added. The foreign ministers of the ASEAN countries told Wang that what China has done to promote vaccination against COVID-19 is not "vaccine diplomacy" but a move demonstrating its great sense of duty as a major country. China has tried to overcome difficulties and make every effort to expand production capacity, and so far, it has provided and is offering vaccine aid to over 80 countries and three international organizations, Wang said. Also, China has exported vaccines to over 40 countries, and is conducting vaccine research, development and production cooperation with more than 10 countries, he added. He warned that "vaccine nationalism" has begun to spread around the world, as rich countries, which account for 16 percent of the world's population, have access to 60 percent of the world's vaccines, and some developed countries have ordered more than two times the amount needed for their own population. In sharp contrast, many developing countries are facing a serious shortage of vaccines, and many countries are even finding it difficult to obtain supplies, Wang added.