China ready to discuss all issues with US, says its Foreign Minister

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI

China's door to dialogue remains open to the US and it is ready to discuss all issues, said the country's top diplomat as he outlined ways to mend bilateral ties that have soured dramatically in the past months.

Speaking at a forum of Chinese and US think-tanks, Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States to return to the table, saying both sides have much to offer each other, as he extended help in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also called on both countries to come up with three lists: one on bilateral and global issues the two sides can cooperate on, another on differences that can be bridged by dialogue and the third on hard-to-resolve issues.

"The China-US relationship is one of the world's most important bilateral relations. There needs to be more positive messages and energy from this relationship," Mr Wang said in his pre-recorded speech yesterday.

"I hope the US will develop more objective and cool-headed perceptions about China, and a more rational and pragmatic China policy."

Mr Wang's extended comments count as the most conciliatory remarks by Beijing since bilateral relations took a dive earlier this year, as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the world.

Apart from a blame game over the pandemic, the two major powers have also faced off over issues such as Hong Kong's new national security law, the South China Sea, Xinjiang and technological development that have seen mounting tit-for-tat moves.

Acknowledging that bilateral ties are at their most difficult in 40 years, Mr Wang in his speech also pointed the finger at those in the US with "ideological biases" who are "resorting to all possible means to portray China as an adversary, and even an enemy".

China has no interest in replacing the US, he said.

"What we care most about is to improve the livelihood of our people. What we deem as the most important is to realise national renewal of the Chinese nation. And what we hope for most is to maintain peace and stability of the world."

NEEDS MORE POSITIVE ENERGY

The China-US relationship is one of the world's most important bilateral relations. There needs to be more positive messages and energy from this relationship.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI, in his pre-recorded speech yesterday.

But he also warned that Beijing will not suffer "smears" by the US and its meddling in sovereignty issues, and attacked Washington's current China policy, calling it an "ill-informed strategic miscalculation" guided by paranoia.

"It seems as if every Chinese investment is politically driven, every Chinese student is a spy and every cooperation initiative is a scheme with hidden agenda."

If the US continues on this path, its paranoia may turn into self-fulfilling prophecies, he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2020, with the headline 'China ready to discuss all issues with US, says its Foreign Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe