Date
22 January 2017
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has urged Washington to respect Beijing's interests on issues such as Taiwan and South China Sea. Photo: Reuters
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has urged Washington to respect Beijing's interests on issues such as Taiwan and South China Sea. Photo: Reuters

US must respect China’s core interests, says Beijing

The US must respect China’s core interests, a top Beijing official said, urging Washington to stop weapons sales to Taiwan and end military patrols close to islets controlled by China in the South China Sea.

“As the US seeks cooperation with China, it ought to respect China’s core interests and important matters of concern,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call.

Citing a statement released Monday by the Chinese foreign ministry, Reuters reported that Wang explained to Kerry China’s position on Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The foreign minister sought a halt to US arms sales to Taiwan and also urged Washington to stop “shows of force” with ship and aircraft patrols close to Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea.

The US angered China last week by approving a new round of weapons sales to Taiwan.

China has also been upset with what it sees as provocative US actions in the South China Sea, including the patrols.

The Pentagon said on Friday it was looking at Chinese complaints that a B-52 bomber recently flew near a Chinese artificial island in the South China Sea.

At a regular news briefing in Washington, US State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed that Wang and Kerry discussed the South China Sea, Reuters reported.

He declined to give details but said the US aim in such talks was to reduce tensions and “to express our continued concern over the militarization of … manufactured land features”, it said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

EJI Weekly Newsletter