Don't let differences define Sino-US ties: Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and the US should deal with sensitive issues in a constructive manner.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and the US should deal with sensitive issues in a constructive manner.

BEIJING • China and the United States should not allow differences between them to define their current ties lest misjudgments dictate future relations, said State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

He made the remarks in an interview with China's Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily which was published on Thursday.

Mr Wang's comments focused on Sino-US relations, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Washington.

Only by upholding the principles of development, openness and inclusiveness can the two countries forge a brighter future for the ties, Mr Wang said.

Cooperation is the best option for the two sides - one of the valuable experiences drawn from the development of Sino-US ties over the past 40 years, Mr Wang noted.

Although great changes have taken place in the two countries, as well as on the international stage, China and the US should still remain true to their original aspirations and stay focused on developing their ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability, he added.

Differences and friction between various nations do not necessarily mean they have to confront one another, he noted.


Both sides should deal with disputes and sensitive issues between them in a constructive manner, seeking consensus while shelving differences, and see to it that their ties move forward on the right track, he said.

Noting that the Taiwan question has always been the most sensitive issue in Sino-US relations, Mr Wang said it is critically important to handle the issue properly based on the "one China" principle.

Beijing demands that diplomatic allies recognise the principle that there is only one China in the world, that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole government of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory.

Mr Wang urged the US to uphold the "one China" principle, abide by the three joint communiques governing their relations and take real action to oppose Taiwan independence forces and their secessionist activities.

On the ongoing trade friction, Mr Wang said trade cooperation remains the engine of China-US relations as it is mutually beneficial and offers win-win outcomes.

Saying that strategic communication between the Chinese and US leaders plays a crucial role in guiding bilateral relations, Mr Wang stressed the need to implement the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump to promote ties. The US and China are halfway through their 90-day truce set to expire on March 1.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Don't let differences define Sino-US ties: Wang Yi'. Print Edition | Subscribe