China, United States cannot afford conflict: Chinese foreign minister

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - There would be no winner from conflict between China and the United States, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Tuesday, seeking to dampen tension between the two nations that flared after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Relations between China and United States have soured after Trump upset Beijing in December by taking a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and threatened to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

China considers Taiwan a wayward province, with no right to formal diplomatic relations with any other country.

But China is committed to peace, Wang said, after meeting Australia's Foreign Minister Julia Bishop.

"There cannot be conflict between China and the United States, as both sides will lose and both sides cannot afford that," he told reporters in the Australian capital of Canberra.

While seeking to reduce tension, Wang called on global leaders to reject protectionism, which Trump has backed with his "America First" economic plans.

"It is important to firmly commit to an open world economy," Wang added. "It is important to steer economic globalisation towards greater inclusiveness, broader shared benefit in a more sustainable way."

Just days ahead of Trump taking office, Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Switzerland as the keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, offering a vigorous defense of globalisation and signaling Beijing's desire to play a bigger role on the world stage.

Wang said that China does not want to lead or replace anyone, and that as its national strength is still limited it must focus on its own development, according to comments carried on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website.

"We must remain clear headed about the various comments demanding China play a 'leadership role'," Wang said.

While Trump's trade policies have spurred concern the United States is entering a period of economic protectionism, China has previously accused Australia of adopting a similar practice by blocking the sale of major assets to Chinese interests.

Bishop urged China to consider joining a pan-Pacific trade pact abandoned last month by Trump, who has said he prefers bilateral deals.

"I want to encourage China to consider the agreement," Bishop said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As China called on nations to be open to offshore investment, Wang said Beijing would link its "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) policy with Australia's plan to develop its remote northern region.

The program announced by Xi in 2013 envisages investments by China in infrastructure projects, including railways and power grids in central, west and southern Asia, as well as Africa and Europe.

Australia has ambitious plans to develop its Northern Territory, a frontier region with little infrastructure, but efforts have largely stalled for lack of investment.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Pritha Sarkar)

Related News

Australia, France and U.S. progress in Davis Cup

Feb 5, 2017

US-TENNIS-DAVIS:Australia, France and U.S. progress in Davis Cup

National Australia Bank first quarter earnings...

Feb 6, 2017

US-NAB-RESULTS:National Australia Bank first quarter earnings fall 1 percent as costs rise

Yen holds gains, European political risks...

Feb 7, 2017

US-GLOBAL-FOREX:Yen holds gains, European political risks generate safe-haven demand

Australia job adverts bounce back in January: ANZ

Feb 6, 2017

US-AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY-VACANCIES:Australia job adverts bounce back in January: ANZ

Wanted: high-tech grads to work with Aussie...

Feb 6, 2017

US-AUSTRALIA-AGRICULTURE-TECH:Wanted: high-tech grads to work with Aussie farmers

7 percent of Australian Catholic priests accused...

Feb 6, 2017

Officials investigating the abuse of children at institutions across Australia have revealed that...

You may also like these

Philippine mining firms urge minister to publish...

Feb 7, 2017

US-PHILIPPINES-MINING:Philippine mining firms urge minister to publish audit

Tillerson stresses cooperation in calls with...

Feb 7, 2017

US-USA-ASIA-TILLERSON:Tillerson stresses cooperation in calls with Australia, Japan, South Korea

Australian security law watchdog urges scrapping...

Feb 8, 2017

US-AUSTRALIA-SECURITY:Australian security law watchdog urges scrapping of indefinite detention

New Zealand central bank shifts focus to external...

Feb 9, 2017

US-NEWZEALAND-CENBANK-ASSISTANTGOV:New Zealand central bank shifts focus to external risks:...

Cambodia opposition leader Rainsy resigns from...

Feb 11, 2017

US-CAMBODIA-POLITICS:Cambodia opposition leader Rainsy resigns from party

About Us

The Morning Herald is a fast news provider in the United States since 2005. Fiercely independent and armed with irreverent intelligence, there’s no other place to get your news other than The Morning Herald.

Contact us: sales@themorningherald.com

Subscribe Now!