China, US enhance mutual understanding through ‘deep and thorough talks’: Chinese FM
Published: Jul 27, 2021 08:06 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

 China and the US enhanced mutual understanding through the deep and thorough talks in Tianjin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, responding to a media question over whether the talks had achieved China's expected results.

The trip to Tianjin by Deputy Secretary Sherman is another important diplomatic interaction between China and the US after the dialogue in Anchorage, Zhao said at a regular press conference on Tuesday. During her brief 24-hour stay, Ms Sherman spent altogether six hours in the meeting with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and talks with Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng, he added.

China made clear its views on the current China-US relations in the meeting and talks, Zhao said. China-US relations face severe difficulties and challenges. There is a big question mark on whether bilateral ties will head to conflict and confrontation or improvement and development, and the US needs to think carefully and make the right choice, he said.

China made clear its attitude to the China policy of the new US administration. It pointed out that this administration has in general inherited its predecessor's erroneous China policy, constantly challenged China's bottom line, and stepped up containment and suppression on China, said Zhao. China firmly opposes such practices and has made resolute responses, he noted.

"The Chinese side pointed out that the erroneous China policy comes down to the US side's misguided perception about China, its view of China as an 'imaginary enemy,' the primary rival, and increasingly an adversary," Zhao said. 

It is this perception that drives the US to hype up the competitive, collaborative and adversarial rhetoric, the notion of "a position of strength" and the so-called "rules-based international order". This perception can also be found behind erroneous words and acts that interfere in China's internal affairs, slander and smear China, and undermine China's interests, said Zhao.

China urges the US side to come to an objective and correct understanding of China, change course by redressing mistakes, work with China on the basis of mutual respect, seek fair competition and peaceful co-existence, and return to a rational and pragmatic China policy, Zhao said.

China always believes that a sound and stable China-US relationship not only serves the interests of both parties, but is also the common aspiration of the international community, Zhao remarked.

The US talked about "responsible management" of bilateral relations during this visit, and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi underlined three basic demands as bottom lines on how to effectively manage differences and prevent China-US relations from getting out of control, according to Zhao.

The first is that the US must not challenge, slander or even attempt to subvert the path and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The second is that the US must not attempt to obstruct or interrupt China's development process. The third is that the US must not infringe upon China's state sovereignty, or even damage China's territorial integrity.

Zhao said he US also talked about setting "guardrails" for bilateral relations. China stressed that any norm of behavior in China-US relations must be discussed and agreed on by both sides. It must be based on equality and mutual benefit, and guided by safeguarding the interests of both sides, and it must be binding on both parties and cannot be barriers set by the US unilaterally for China.

During the meeting and talks,China solemnly elaborated on China's position on issues relating to study of origins of the COVID-19, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and cybersecurity. It sternly rebuked US fallacies and putting forward clear demands, said Zhao.

China also gave the US two lists, as I said yesterday, one consisting of 16 items detailing erroneous US policies, words and actions that should be redressed, another containing 10 key individual cases of particular concern, Zhao added.

The two sides also exchanged views on some international and regional issues including climate change, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan and Myanmar, Zhao said. 

On these issues China and the US have sound cooperation and there is broad space for both to work together, said Zhao. China also pointed out explicitly that cooperation must be based on mutual trust and premised on mutual benefit, and the US needs to show sincerity and create conditions for cooperation, he said.

The US cannot expect to harm China's interests on one hand while hoping for unconditional cooperation from China on the other, Zhao noted.

"Differences and somewhat tense encounters are commonplace in diplomacy," Zhao said. Both China and the US believe that the meeting and talks are candid, in-depth and constructive, and both sides agree on the utmost importance of maintaining communication between China and the US and the need for more frank and sincere dialogues, he added.

Global Times