China world role spelled out amid pitch to Taiwan allies

Top News | 9 Mar 2018

China is on a long march to modernization and it has no need or intention to replace the United States' international role, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

"Some Americans allege that China will replace America's role in the world," Wang said at a wide-ranging news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress. "This conclusion is fundamentally wrong."

He added that China's path "is totally different than the one that has already been taken by traditional major powers," and the more "China develops, the more it can contribute to the world."

China and the United States don't need to be rivals, "they should be partners."

Wang also said it is in the best interests of Taiwan's few remaining diplomatic allies to recognize an "irresistible trend" and ditch Taipei in favor of "one China" ruled by Beijing.

"Upholding the 'one China' principle and not having official contacts with Taiwan has already become one of the international norms for countries to follow," he said.

"Establishing diplomatic relations with China, the only legal representative of the entire Chinese people, and having normal cooperation is obviously the correct choice that conforms to the times. This is the general and irresistible trend and is in the long-term interests of those countries."

Wang cautiously welcomed the apparent breakthrough over the North Korea nuclear issue as an "important step in the right direction."

He urged the United States and North Korea to hold talks as soon as possible after Seoul said Pyongyang is ready to discuss denuclearization in return for security guarantees. "Now is the crucial moment to test the sincerity of the parties to solve the nuclear issue," he said.

Wang said China will not give an inch in the South China Sea, where it has built artificial islands hosting military facilities that the United States and others say threaten freedom of navigation.

Beijing's "resolve to protect the peace and the stability of the South China Sea cannot be shaken," Wang said about the region, where it has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

The problems are due to "foreign forces" which "have sent fully armed warships and fighters to the South China Sea to flaunt their military might," he said, referring to operations by the United States, Australia and Britain.

Wang also talked about ties with Japan amid Prime Minister Abe's expected visit to China.

After mocking a Japanese reporter's Chinese language skills, Wang said that China "wants the Japanese side to speak credibly in its politics, to behave properly in its actions."

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