BEIJING— China said it is looking for a new way of interacting with the United States and other major powers. As Beijing prepares for the first major meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama in California in June, China said it is seeking a path that is different from the contentious ties that have characterized relations between the major powers in the past.
China’s new leadership has been on a diplomatic blitz, welcoming a range of foreign leaders to Beijing and visiting South Asia, Europe, Russia and Africa.
Earlier this week, Premier Li Keqiang returned from his first trip overseas. The tour featured stops in India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. This Friday, President Xi Jinping will depart on his second tour.
Just days after becoming China’s new leader, President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan traveled to Russia and Africa. This time, Xi’s travels will take him to Latin America and the Caribbean. After that, China’s new leader will hold a two-day informal summit with U.S. President Barack Obama in California.
The trips highlight what China said are its efforts to seek a new model of relations with developing nations and the world's major powers.
Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told reporters about this new model of relations at a special briefing on Wednesday.
Zheng said China wants to forge a new path that is different from traditional ties between major powers that are confrontational and divisive. He said China is seeking a path that will allow major powers to peacefully coexist.
“We want to follow a new and different from the traditional confrontational and divisive path that major powers have followed in the past. We want pursue a new path that is in step with the times. A path that will allow major powers to peacefully coexist, cooperate and be mutually beneficial,” Zheng stated.
How this new model will help China resolve the growing range of regional and global challenges it faces is still unclear. China’s ties with Japan are tense because of a territorial dispute in the East China Sea. Beijing’s aggressive position on territories in the South China Sea has hurt relations with its neighbors there as well.
And, even as ties between the United States and China grow closer and more interdependent, the two have made little headway in resolving major differences about a wide range of issues - from cyber security to creating a more level playing field for investors here. The two are still at odds about Syria and Iran and do not agree on how to deal with North Korea.
Zheng said China wants to work together with the United States and find ways to cooperate on all levels, both in their bilateral relations and on regional and global issues as well. He said cyber security, North Korea, Syria, Iran and other major issues will all be discussed when President Obama and Mr. Xi meet in California on June 7th and 8th.
President Xi and his wife depart on their second tour this Friday, May 31th. During the tour, Mr. Xi will also visit Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.