China will not yield on core national interests: Report

Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army take part in a flag-raising ceremony to mark the new year on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Jan 1, 2019.
Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army take part in a flag-raising ceremony to mark the new year on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Jan 1, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI • China will not yield on issues it deems to be its core national interests, a commentary in the ruling Communist Party's official newspaper said yesterday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for cooperation with the United States.

"In matters related to core national interests, China has not given in, is not giving in, and will never give in," the People's Daily commentary said.

Mr Xi and US President Donald Trump sent congratulatory messages to each other on Tuesday, marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

China and the US face a key deadline in March for talks to end their damaging trade war. Mr Trump has said talks towards a deal are progressing well.

However, "regardless of the development of Sino-US relations, China's strategic choice to deepen reform and opening is unswerving, and we are committed to doing our own thing", the commentary said.

In the messages sent on Tuesday, Mr Xi underlined the importance of working with the US "to advance China-US relations featuring coordination, cooperation and stability", reported state news agency Xinhua.

According to Xinhua, Mr Trump praised the last four decades of diplomacy between China and the US, hailing his "solid friendship" with the Chinese leader.

 
 

Washington and Beijing imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than US$300 billion (S$409 billion) worth of goods in total two-way trade last year, locking the two countries in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits and contributed to stock market plunges.

Since the two leaders agreed on a truce on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires, however, there have been small signs of progress - and an absence of new threats from Mr Trump.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2019, with the headline 'China will not yield on core national interests: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe