Saturday, 15 December, 2018

USA denies China ‘Cold War’ but deep gaps persist

Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible Yang Jiechi a member of the Politburo, believes a breakthrough in the trade war is possible
Deanna Wagner | 10 November, 2018, 10:24

A "frank" exchange of views can be expected in top-level diplomatic and security talks between the United States and China on Friday, including on issues such as human rights and the South China Sea, the U.S. ambassador to China said.

"The United States is not pursuing a Cold War or containment policy with China", Pompeo told a joint news conference.

She said China should abide by the principles reached between the two countries guiding the settlement of the maritime issues and the Declaration of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea "without complicating the situation, affecting peace, security and stability" in the South China Sea.

The conversations were held in an atmosphere of responsibility and respect, according to Mr. Pompeo, who acknowledged that China and the United States face "significant differences between our nations" in such areas as trade, due to the mutual imposition of billions of dollars in tariffs.

"As for the present China-U.S. economic and trade dispute, we believe it ought to be and can be appropriately resolve via equal dialogue", Wang said, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

While the Washington talks focused on security, trade is at the heart of tensions between the world's two biggest economies.

The United States also took Beijing's military to task over its assertive posture in the dispute-rife South China Sea, which has witnessed a series of incidents including the buzzing of a US Navy surveillance aircraft a year ago by a Chinese warplane.

Mr Pompeo condemned China for building military installations on artificial islands in the South China Sea.

"And we made clear that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", Mattis said.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke to the press alongside their Chinese counterparts after the four officials held a security and diplomatic dialogue meant to prepare their leaders for a meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina later this month.

But just as he was speaking, a top advisor to Trump, Peter Navarro, vowed to press China hard on trade.

Calling Kissinger an old friend of Chinese people, Xi hailed the "historic contribution" he has made to China-U.S. relations. "Rather we want to ensure that China acts responsibly and fairly in support of security and prosperity of each of our two countries".

China and the U.S. are now locked in an ongoing trade war as each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded between each other.

A planned trip by Mattis to Beijing last month was cancelled amid rising military tensions between the Pacific powers.

"There is no such problem of freedom of navigation and overflights being obstructed, so to use this issue as an excuse to military action is unjustifiable", he said. Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products, in a push to narrow the USA trade deficit and push back against what the US views as predatory Chinese tactics on the high technology industry.

Xi told former USA secretary of state Henry Kissinger that he and Trump would have "a deep exchange of views" in Argentina, according to the Chinese state news agency.

"China is committed to working with the United States to achieve a no-confrontational, conflict-free, mutually respectful co-operation in which both sides win", added Yang, who heads the ruling Communist Party's foreign affairs commission and outranks Wang.

Yang defended China's policies in Xinjiang as measures against "ethnic separatist activities and violent terrorist crimes" but said it was a Chinese internal affair and foreign governments should not interfere.