China says ties with India insulated from differences on Belt and Road Initiative


Atul Aneja Beijing, April 19, 2019 11:24 IST
Updated: April 19, 2019 17:22 IST

Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi says both nations were limiting the threshold of their differences so that overall development of ties remained unhampered.

China on Friday said its ties with India had a “bright future” and they were preparing for a summit between their leaders as a follow-up to last year’s two-day across-the board Wuhan informal summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At a press conference on a three-day Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that begins on May 25, Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi was emphatic that ties between India and China were insulated from their differences on the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Thirty-seven heads of state or heads of government, including leaders from Russia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as high level representatives from France, Germany, UK, Spain the European Union and Republic of Korea, will attend the mega event.

Mr. Wang said, “The two leaders [President Xi and Prime Minister Modi] had a very successful meeting in Wuhan. Particularly, they established mutual trust and they jointly planned for the future of improvement and the strengthening of the China-India relationship. After the Wuhan summit, we see progress in all areas of cooperation.”

Mr. Wang pointed out that India and China were limiting the threshold of their differences so that overall development of ties remained unhampered. “China and India are two major countries and neighbouring countries to each other. It is natural for us to have differences…I remember Prime Minister Modi has mentioned many times that [we] cannot escalate our differences into disputes,” he said.

“The Indian side wants to put our differences at a proper level in order not to interfere in the proper development of our relations. This is in fundamental interest of the people of two countries and China is happy to see [that],” he noted.

China, he said, understood India’s “concerns” about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but counselled New Delhi not to view the project—a flagship of the BRI—as an infringement of its “sovereignty”.

Mr. Wang said, “One of our fundamental differences is how to look at the Belt and Road Initiative. The Indian side has their concerns. We understand that and that’s why we stated clearly on various occasions that the Belt and Road Initiative, including the CPEC, is only an economic initiative.” CPEC should be de-linked from a territorial dispute that was rooted in history.

India’s stance on CPEC

India has slammed CPEC, stating that it was an affront to its sovereignty as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Mr. Wang contended that the CPEC did not “target any third country” and had “nothing to do with sovereign and territorial dispute left over from history between the two countries.

He said, “Of course, India has its basic position on these disputes. Our cooperation will not undermine any party’s position on those issues. Those issues left over from the history must be separated from our efforts in this area. I think such cooperation will not undermine the basic position on sovereignty and territorial integrity and at the same time will provide you more opportunity of development and help India in modernisation endeavour. I believe this is a good option and good choice for India.”

The Chinese top diplomat rubbished accusations that BRI projects were “debt traps”. Instead, he said, the mega-connectivity project to revive the ancient Silk Road had generated benefits. The total trade volume between China and participating countries had surpassed 6 trillion dollars and investments had scaled 80 billion dollars, generating 300,000 jobs, he pointed out.

In a veiled reference to the United States, he said, “Some country when it cannot succeed, it doesn’t want other countries to succeed either. And this sour grape mentality is in no one’s benefit.”

An “advisory council”, comprising eminent international personalities, had been formed to impart “high quality” to projects under the BRI banner. “To my knowledge, the advisory council will submit a policy suggestion report to the second forum, which contains many good suggestions. We welcome more constructive voices to the Belt and Road,” Mr. Wang observed.

Source: The Hindu “China says ties with India insulated from differences on Belt and Road Initiative”

Note: This is The Hindu’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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Amid trade talks, China urges U.S. to respect its right to develop, prosper


February 20, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States should respect China’s right to develop and become prosperous, the Chinese government’s top diplomat told a visiting U.S. delegation, reiterating that the country’s doors to the outside world would open wider.

The world’s two largest economies began their latest round of trade talks this week to resolve a bitter dispute in which each has levied tariffs on imports from the other.

U.S. trade representative to testify on China next week

The United States has accused China of unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfers, charges it has denied.

Respect and cooperation are the correct choice for both countries, something the international community hopes to see, State Councillor Wang Yi told the delegation of U.S. business leaders and former officials in Beijing on Tuesday.

“Just like the United States, China also has the right to development, and the Chinese people also have the right to have a good life,” the foreign ministry paraphrased Wang as saying, in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“The U.S. side should recognize that China’s development is in the world’s interest, as well as the United States’. Only by seeing China’s development as an opportunity for the United States can this help resolve certain problems, including trade and economic ones,” Wang said.

China’s reform and steps to open up are in line with its development needs, and its doors to the outside world will open ever wider, he added, repeating previous government pledges.

“As long as China and the United States proactively meet each other halfway, then trade and economic cooperation can still play a role as a ballast stone in Sino-U.S. ties,” he said.

The U.S. delegation included former U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Myron Brilliant, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce China Center President Jeremie Waterman.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said trade talks with China were going well and suggested he was open to pushing back the March 1 deadline to complete negotiations, saying it was not a “magical” date.

Tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent by March 1 if the partners do not settle their trade dispute, but Trump has suggested several times that he would be open to postponing the deadline.

Negotiations in Washington this week follow a week of talks in the Chinese capital that ended last week without a deal but which officials said had brought progress on some key issues.

Widely-read tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said in a Wednesday editorial that both sides must remain calm during the current talks, but that Washington must not force anything on Beijing.

“U.S. demand for China’s structural reform must stay in line with China-U.S. trade cooperation and coordinate with China’s reform and opening-up. The talks must not try to force Beijing to change its economic governance or even its development path,” it said.

“China and the U.S. must sign an agreement that will inspire their people, heralding accelerated economic development.”

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Darren Schuettler

Source: Reuters “Amid trade talks, China urges U.S. to respect its right to develop, prosper”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China hails Trump-Xi summit, but offers no new details


December 6, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – The summit between President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Argentina was “friendly and candid” and would help to avoid further trade tensions, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday, but offered no new details on the talks.

The two leaders held high stakes discussions on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires last week and agreed to a ceasefire in their trade war.

State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, said the talks about trade frictions had been extremely positive and constructive, helping reach a consensus that worked for both China and the United States.

Xi and Trump had “deep exchanges in a friendly and candid atmosphere”, setting the direction for an appropriate resolution to the problems between the two countries, Wang said, in a statement carried on the foreign ministry’s website.

“The two sides agreed to jointly promote Sino-U.S. relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability, and promote exchanges and cooperation in various fields in the two countries to achieve even more results,” he added.

“The discussions on economic and trade issues between the two sides were very positive and constructive, and reached a principled consensus.”

That consensus included preventing trade frictions from spreading, returning to dialogue to resolve issues, and a joint goal of cooperation to benefit the global economy, Wang said.

“All of these help to safeguard China’s legitimate interests, and are also in the interests of the United States, and even more are in line with the expectations of the international community,” he added.

The two countries have hit each other with tit-for-tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars in sectors from automobiles to agriculture and energy, stymieing trade and redrawing global supply chains.

The United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year as punishment for what it calls China’s unfair trade practices. China has responded with its own tariffs.

But as part of the truce agreed to by Xi and Trump, the United States will not raise tariffs further on Jan. 1, so further talks can take place.

Wang said the facts will prove that the common interests between China and the United States are greater than our differences, and cooperation needs to be greater than friction.

However he offered no new details on what China had agreed to with the United States.

China expressed confidence on Wednesday that it can reach a trade deal with the United States, a sentiment echoed by Trump a day after he warned of more tariffs if the two sides could not resolve their differences.

The White House has said China had committed to start buying more American products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers immediately, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.

China’s Commerce Ministry is due to hold its weekly news briefing later on Thursday, where it could offer more details on China’s understanding of what had been agreed to.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Adam Jourdan in Shanghai; Editing by Michael Perry

Source: Reuters “China hails Trump-Xi summit, but offers no new details”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Xinjiang Dealing with Terrorism, Typical of ‘China Can Say No’


As soon as China adopted Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, I had quite a few posts on its significance to the outside world equivalent to “China Can Say No”.

Say no to what?
Say no to Western capitalist ideology while advocates Marxism
Say no to Westernization while advocates socialism with Chinese characteristics;
Say no to multiparty democracy while advocates one-party democracy with Chinese characteristics;
Say no to Western values while advocates China’s socialist core values;
Say no to Western human rights while advocates Chinese human rights;
Say no to Western press freedom while advocates China’s censorship and control of media; etc.

In a few years before adoption of Xi Jinping Thought, China had advocated a wholesale rejection of universal values at home and regarded it as merely a weapon used by the West to undermine China’s socialist system. Chinese authorities have told universities and colleges not to advocate such values.

With Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China declared that it is self-confident in its path, system, theory and culture.

In order to better defend China against the spread of Western human rights, China held the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing in December 2017 to advocate its own human rights system that stresses the rights to development, health, nutrition and housing.

The Forum was successful in advocating China’s human rights as it drew 300 participants from over 50 countries and representatives from the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

However, the conflicts between Chinese and Western human rights did no emerge then.

Now, Reuters says in its report “China tells world to ignore ‘gossip’ about Xinjiang” yesterday that what China has been doing in countering Islamic extremism in its Xinjiang Autonomous Region encounters opposition from Western countries including Canada, France, Germany, and the United States.

Chinese Foreign Minister Want Yi simply told people to ignore such opposition.

Reuters quotes him as saying:

(People) should not listen to gossip or rumor, because the Xinjiang regional government, of course, understands the situation in Xinjiang best, and not some other people or organizations.

The efforts are completely in line with the direction the international community has taken to combat terrorism, and are an important part of the global fight against terrorism.

If we can take care of prevention, then it will be impossible for terrorism to spread and take root.

Ignore Western opposition, that is Wang Yi’s way China Can Say No.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-germany-xinjiang/china-tells-world-to-ignore-gossip-about-xinjiang-idUSKCN1NI0SW


Pompeo visit to China kicks off with frosty exchange


Michael Martina October 8, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – A meeting of top U.S. and Chinese diplomats got off to a frosty start on Monday, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi airing grievances amid worsening bilateral relations.

While the exchange included typical diplomatic pleasantries, and the two officials emphasized the need for cooperation, their remarks before journalists at the start of their meeting at Beijing’s Diaoyutai Guest House were unusually pointed.

“Recently, as the U.S. side has been constantly escalating trade friction toward China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan issue that harm China’s rights, and has made groundless criticism of China’s domestic and foreign policies,” Wang said at the joint appearance with Pompeo.

“We believe this has been a direct attack on our mutual trust, and has cast a shadow on China-U.S. relations,” Wang said.

“We demand that the U.S. side stop this kind of mistaken action,” he said.

Pompeo, who was briefing Wang following his visit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said, “The issues that you characterized we have a fundamental disagreement.”

“We have great concerns about the actions that China has taken, and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss each of those today because this is an incredibly important relationship.”

A senior U.S. State Department official said the United States still expected cooperation with Beijing on efforts to denuclearize North Korea, whose chief ally is China.

“I would certainly expect so,” the official said. “That’s a very important issue and they recognize that and accept that and realize that.”

Pompeo and Wang openly disagreed over which side had called off a bilateral security dialogue that had been due to take place in Beijing this month.

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence stepped up the U.S. pressure campaign against Beijing, going beyond the trade war by accusing China of both “malign” efforts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s congressional elections and of reckless military action in the South China Sea.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez

Source: Reuters “Pompeo visit to China kicks off with frosty exchange”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China says ‘no cause for panic’ over U.S. ties, but won’t be blackmailed


David Brunnstrom, Rodrigo Campos

September 29, 2018

UNITED NATIONS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Friday there was “no cause for panic” over friction between Beijing and Washington, but warned that China would not be blackmailed or yield to pressure over trade.

At a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump escalated tensions with Beijing by accusing it of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies. At the same meeting, Wang rejected the charge.

“Protectionism will only hurt oneself, and unilateral moves will bring damage to all,” Wang said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

“Regarding trade frictions, China stands for a proper settlement based on rules and consensus through dialogue and consultation on an equal footing. China will not be blackmailed or yield to pressure.”

Trump, who accuses China of stealing U.S. intellectual property, limiting access to its own market and unfairly subsidizing state-owned industries, has escalated his trade war with China and U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in on Monday, prompting Beijing to retaliate with additional tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products.

Wang earlier told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that concrete actions had to be taken to maintain relations between the United States and China.

“The closer our engagement, the more closely entwined our interests, maybe various suspicions and even frictions may ensue,” Wang said.

“This is not surprising and it is also no cause for panic. What is important is how these differences should be viewed, evaluated and handled.”

Wang, who holds the twin titles of foreign minister and state councilor, dismissed any suggestion there was forced technology transfer from foreign firms in China and played down complaints by some U.S. firms about market conditions in China.

“A small number of companies that are not so satisfied may speak up louder, but I don’t think they represent the majority of the companies in the Chinese market,” he said.

Further cooperation between the United States and China was key in pursuing denuclearization of its ally North Korea, Wang said, while urging the creation of a peace mechanism and for the United States to give North Korea more incentives.

“We believe it is … right for the U.S. to make timely and positive responses so as to truly meet North Korea halfway,” Wang said in his U.N. speech.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned members of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that they must “set the example” by enforcing sanctions on North Korea as China and Russia suggested the council consider easing the tough measures because progress had been made.

Wang warned that scrapping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which China and other powers are fighting to save after Trump pulled out of it in May, could lead to a regional arms race.

He said China was fostering closer economic ties with Russia as the two economies were complimentary and Moscow and Beijing were also on the same page on international issues.

“We want to build a new kind of relationship featuring non-confrontation, non-conflict and no targeting any third country,” he said. “Russia is our largest neighbor, and there’s need for normal and friendly ties between neighbors.

“Certainly, the two economies are highly complementary. We need the Russian energy like oil and natural gas and they need Chinese processed goods … and inexpensive Chinese goods.”

Wang said China had exercised “utmost restraint” in the South China Sea and seeks peaceful solutions to disputes there. He said Beijing’s sovereignty over the South China Sea islands was “very clear” and that people there felt the need for enhanced defenses given “heavy” U.S. military patrols, Wang said.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion worth of trade passes every year. Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the sea, which has oil and gas deposits and rich fishing grounds.

Wang said that while Asia belonged to the people of Asia, China did not seek a closed continent or to create “a new order” or hegemony.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
“China will not, repeat, not repeat the old practice of a strong country seeking hegemony,” Wang said. “I don’t think China will become the United States and China will not challenge the United States, still less will China take the place of the United States.”

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Rodrigo Campos; writing by John Irish and Michelle Nichols; editing by Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis

Source: Reuters “China says ‘no cause for panic’ over U.S. ties, but won’t be blackmailed”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Chinese government’s top diplomat says Beijing not saddling Pakistan with debt


Saad Sayeed September 8, 2018

State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Pakistan for a three-day visit in the first high-level meetings between the neighbors since new Prime Minister Imran Khan took office.

Beijing has pledged $57 billion in loans for Pakistan as part of its vast Belt and Road initiative, deepening ties at a time when Islamabad’s relations with Washington are fraying over how to deal with Islamist militants waging war in Afghanistan.

Whether China was overburdening Pakistan with debt has become a sore point for both nations, who both say the loans are sustainable, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July warned any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s troubled economy should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders.

Wang said the Pakistani portion of the Belt and Road initiative, known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has helped increase economic growth by 1-2 percent and has contributed 70,000 jobs.

“CPEC has not inflicted a debt burden on Pakistan, rather when these projects get completed and enter into operation, they will unleash huge economic benefits…and these will create considerable returns to the Pakistani economy,” Wang said during a news conference in the capital Islamabad.

Standing next to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Wang said 47 percent of Pakistan’s debt comes from the IMF and the Asian Development Bank.

Wang said 22 operational CPEC projects, of which nine have been completed, have triggered investment worth $19 billion so far. He also rejected concerns about transparency of CPEC by saying those worries were “false” as all the projects had undergone necessary approvals.

Qureshi said CPEC remains the “top priority” of the new government, adding that the two governments would focus on projects with socio-economic development.

“They will be considering projects that have a livelihood connection to them, that means job creation. He has spoken about initiatives in health and education, vocational training, how do we want to make our people more productive if they want to export,” Qureshi said.

The two men did not mention whether China would give more loans to help Pakistan’s current account crisis. Pakistan is battling a worsening balance of payments crisis that may push it to seek a fresh bailout from the IMF, though officials have not ruled out other options such as a bailout from China.

Wang will also call on Prime Minister Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the foreign office said.

Wang’s visit comes days after Pompeo’s trip to Pakistan last week along with the U.S. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the first high-level U.S. visit to the new government, with the secretary of state saying he was hopeful for “a reset of relations” between the two countries.

Reporting by Saad Sayeed; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Jacqueline Wong

Source: Reuters “Chinese government’s top diplomat says Beijing not saddling Pakistan with debt”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.