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Foreign Minister Jiechi says US must respect China's regional interests

March 7, 2012 - Beijing

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has called on the United States to respect his country's interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

Addressing a news conference in Beijing, Jiechi said that while China and the US "have more converging interests in the Asia-Pacific region than anywhere else in the world, the US must respect our regional interests."

"We hope to see and welcome a constructive role by the US in this region and at the same time we hope that the US will respect China's interests and concerns. We are ready to work with the US and other countries to develop an Asia-Pacific region that enjoys greater stability and development," the China Daily quoted Jiechi, as saying.

Jiechi's comments come against a background of the US focusing more on Asia-Pacific affairs amid military disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama had revealed a defense strategy in January, which supported a greater military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

China and US also differ on some major international issues, including Syria and Iran, while China advocates dialogue and negotiations in solving those issues. The US prefers sanctions and even military intervention.

Jiechi tinted the fact that China opposes unilateral sanctions and many countries share this stance. He also disproved suggestions that China's stance has run into opposition from some Arab countries.

"China and Arab countries have no historical grievances. We have growing common interests and an agreed consensus on jointly maintaining peace and promoting development," he said.

He added that China and Arab countries share the same aim in protecting the stability, development and prosperity of the Middle East though they may differ on the specifics.

"Cooperation between China and Arab countries is comprehensive and strategic, and the friendship between the two can stand the test of changing international circumstances," Jiechi added.


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