China says it is ready to advance ties with U.S.

Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:54 PM
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BEIJING, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- China will work toward further advancing ties with the United States in the New Year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Wang said China stands ready to cooperate with the United States to implement the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama, make concerted efforts to build a new type of major country relationship and properly handle differences, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi, who became China's top leader last year, held his first summit with Obama last June in California. In that meeting, Xi said he and Obama talked of the need for China and the United States to find a new path that is different "from the inevitable confrontation and conflict between the major countries of the past" and work together "to build a new model of major country relationship."

Wednesday also marked the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and China.

Wang said during these years, Sino-U.S. relations have achieved historic progress, bringing enormous benefits to the two countries and playing an important role in promoting regional and global peace and stability.

Kerry was quoted as saying that in the current international and regional situation, the two countries need to cooperate in an increasing number of areas. He said the United States hopes to boost exchanges and cooperation with China and remain committed to building a new model of major country relations.

Xinhua said the two officials also exchanged views on various issues, including those concerning Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

China-related issues confronting the United States include human rights, cyber security, China's military expansion, its aggressive claims both in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and its growing maritime dispute with Japan over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The latest irritant is China's unilateral establishment of an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea, which the United States has refused to recognize.

China's concerns include the U.S. rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region and U.S. assertions that it is and will remain a Pacific power.

On the plus side, both sides agree on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, the need to cooperate more on climate change issues and to have greater bilateral military contacts.

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