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China warns US over interference

(China Daily)

10:30, October 12, 2011

Beijing strongly complained to Washington about its interference in China's domestic affairs and interests at the second round of consultations on Asia-Pacific affairs in Beijing on Tuesday, shortly before a Senate vote on a bill that targets China's currency policy.

In the wake of the first consultation in Hawaii in June, the latest talks were co-chaired by Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai and Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

According to a press release issued after the closed-door consultation, the Chinese delegation voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to US "interference in China's domestic affairs and infringement upon China's interests," referring to issues surrounding Taiwan, Tibet and the valuation of the yuan.

Reiterating their stance on the South China Sea issue, the Chinese side expressed hopes that the US will respect Beijing's core interests and concerns, and cooperate with the Chinese side to promote the sound and stable development of bilateral ties, the press release said.

In response, the US side expressed welcome and support for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and vowed to properly handle disputes with Beijing.

The two sides stressed they shoulder common responsibilities and share common interests in maintaining regional stability, promoting economic development, dealing with security challenges and promoting regional cooperation.

In the past few weeks, China has repeatedly protested Washington's plan to sell $5.85 billion in weapons, including updates of F-16A/B fighter jets, to Taiwan. Beijing also expressed anger over the Senate vote today on a bill to punish countries that are deemed currency manipulators.

"Since both sides take precautions against each other on some regional affairs such as the South China Sea issue, a mechanism like the Asia-Pacific consultation cannot solve all the disputes overnight," Ni Feng, a researcher at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"But such bilateral talks could improve mutual understanding on these disputes, thus easing doubts and promoting regional stability," he added.

Predicting that China and the US would have more confrontations as the latter returns to the Asia-Pacific region, Ni said it's necessary for the two to set up a mechanism to bring the disputes under control.

Proposed by China during this year's China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the Asia-Pacific consultation serves as a platform to solve misunderstandings through direct talks and avoid malicious rivalries between the two nations on regional leadership, Ni said.

"A good and stable relationship between China and the US will reduce the possibility of some other countries provoking disputes on regional matters, and eventually sustain the stability of the region," Ni said.

Prior to on Tuesday's talks, Cui warned the US of a trade war if US authorities pass the currency legislation into law.

"It would be detrimental to the development of economic ties and might have an adverse impact on bilateral relations," Cui said.

Cui's words were echoed by House Speaker John Boehner, who said earlier, "For the Congress of the US to pass legislation to force the Chinese to do what is arguably very difficult to do, I think is wrong. You could start a trade war."

"It's perfectly populist legislation," Dan Ikenson, a trade expert at the conservative Cato Institute, told the ABC news. "The majority of Americans fear China's economic rise. Then you have a Congress that isn't well regarded, that can't seem to deal with all of our real economic problems, so why not look for a scapegoat."

Ikenson said the legislation would actually "imperil jobs" in the US because there is "close to a 100 percent chance China will retaliate."

Agencies contributed to this story

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