Diplomats meet with Pompeo in Beijing, advocate talks to manage differences
Senior Chinese diplomats urged the United States on Monday to halt wrongdoing and stop conduct that damages China's interests. They said the country will take necessary measures and firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.
China-US relations are at a critical stage and face great challenges, said Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. Yang spoke in a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Beijing.
Partnership is the only right choice for the two major countries, Yang said. China hopes the US will make the right choice and work along with China to manage differences based on mutual respect and develop pragmatic cooperation based on mutual benefit, he added.
In a separate meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi blamed US moves for escalating trade tensions and condemned Washington's recent actions regarding Taiwan and other matters. He said a trade war is no solution.
China is still ready to solve disputes through negotiations, but they must be based on equality, integrity and seriousness, he said.
Wang urged the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques and to stop official exchanges and military links with Taiwan as well as arms sales to the island.
While demanding the US stop interfering with countries that have established or hope to establish diplomatic ties with China, Wang said Washington should take concrete actions to restrain Taiwan independence forces and uphold the China-US relationship and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
Pompeo's visit came as relations have deteriorated amid tit-for-tat trade frictions. Before Beijing, he also visited Tokyo, Pyongyang and Seoul.
Pompeo responded by saying the US means neither to oppose China's development nor contain China in a comprehensive manner despite marked disparities on some issues. He reaffirmed that the US upholds the one-China principle, saying the two sides should strengthen communication, build mutual trust and intensify rules-based cooperation.
Pompeo exchanged views with the Chinese diplomats about his trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, expressed appreciation for China's consistent position and efforts in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and expressed hope to continue to strengthen cooperation with China on the issue.
Wang said China supports direct dialogue between the US and the DPRK and will play its unique and crucial role in peninsula denuclearization on the basis of mutual respect and taking into account respective concerns.
Zhou Fangyin, a researcher of China's foreign policies at the Guangdong Institute for International Strategies, said that with the voices of hard-liners toward China on the rise in the US administration and trade issues having reached an impasse, high-level exchanges and communication are significant in helping avoid unexpected situations.
"The US considers China a strategic competitor, which affects US policy toward China," Zhou said, adding that China will continue to seek strategic stability in China-US relations.