Sun, Feb 19, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Foreign minister says China ready to work with US

AFP, BEIJING and MUNICH, Germany

Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Beijing was ready to work with the administration of US President Donald Trump, a Chinese account of their meeting in Bonn, Germany, said.

Wang and Tillerson met on Friday at a G20 gathering of foreign ministers — the highest-level Sino-US encounter since Trump was elected.

Trump had infuriated Beijing by calling into question Washington’s long-standing “one China” policy, but later reaffirmed it in a telephone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) last week.

Wang told Tillerson this consensus on the issue “created the necessary preconditions for the two nations to engage in strategic cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued late on Friday.

“Wang said that China and the United States, both shouldering the responsibilities of securing world stability and enhancing global prosperity, had more common interests than disputes,” the statement said. “China is ready to work with the US side to implement the consensus reached between President Xi and President Trump, and move the bilateral relationship forward in the direction that features no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”

Wang said that the two sides should increase communication and cooperation “to ensure greater development of bilateral relations during Trump’s presidency.”

The US, in accordance with the Shanghai Communique of 1972, “acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.”

In contrast, Beijing’s “one China” principle states that both Taiwan and China are inalienable parts of a single “China,” with no mention of a method of resolution.

Trump’s telephone call with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) after his election victory in November last year infuriated Beijing, which saw it as a repudiation of the “one China” policy.

Wang’s attendance at the G20 meeting seemed in doubt in the fallout, but after Trump’s call with Xi, it was announced that the trip would go ahead.

The US Department of State said the two ministers discussed the need for a “level playing field for trade and investment.”

It said Tillerson also told Wang that Beijing must rein in North Korea after its series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Meanwhile, yesterday, US Vice-President Mike Pence pledged an “unwavering” commitment to trans-Atlantic ties.

Pence underlined the US’ devotion to its old friends.

“The United States is and will always be your greatest ally. Be assured that President Trump and our people are truly devoted to our trans-Atlantic union,” he told European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Munich Security Conference.

“The promise to share the burden of our defence has gone unfulfilled for too many, for too long and it erodes the very foundation of our alliance,” he said, adding that “the time has come to do more.”

The US would boost defense spending significantly, “to defend our nation and our treaty allies from the known threats of today and the unknown threats of tomorrow,” Pence said.

“We will meet our obligations to our people to provide for the common defense, and we’ll continue to do our part to support our allies in Europe and in NATO,” he said.

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