News / Asia

Xi: US, China Confrontation Would Be 'Disaster'

Xi: US, China Confrontation Would Be 'Disaster'i
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July 09, 2014 4:48 PM
U.S. and Chinese officials have opened talks in Beijing, where Chinese President Xi Jinping says Washington and Beijing are working to avoid confrontation that he says would be a "disaster." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has more on the story.

U.S. and Chinese officials have opened talks in Beijing, where Chinese President Xi Jinping says Washington and Beijing are working to avoid confrontation that he says would be a "disaster." 

The talks are taking place against the background of increasing tension between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea -- where Vietnam says one of its patrols was rammed by China's coastguard near a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters.  Beijing has warned against outside interference in the region, and Washington has not taken a position on competing territorial claims.

Secretary of State John Kerry says a more active U.S. role in Asia is not meant to contain China.

"We welcome the emergence of a peaceful, stable, prosperous China, that contributes to the stability and the development of the region, and that chooses to play a responsible role in world affairs," he said.

At the opening of this Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Kerry said Washington and Beijing have the ability to find common ground -- despite any current differences.

"That is the foundation on which we need to build decades of prosperity for the future, and also build the possibilities of stability and peace at the same time," he said.

Xi says confrontation between the United States and China benefits no one.

"China-U.S. confrontation, to the two countries and to the world, would definitely be a disaster," he said. "Under these circumstances, we on both sides should look far into the distance, strengthen and persist on co-operation, and avoid confrontation."

During the past few years these rotating talks have failed to produce much of substance.  But they have helped defuse hostilities that former U.S. ambassador to China Stapleton Roy says would divide the region.

"That is not the type of world we want," he said. "And therefore, it is very important for us to have mechanisms that work and try to address the types of issues that arise between two countries such as China and the United States.  And I think this Strategic and Economic Dialogue is one of those mechanisms."

American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin says these S&ED talks accomplish nothing.

"Relations between Beijing and Washington are worse than ever," he said. "Why do we continue the fiction that the S&ED is either important or constructive in any way?"

Auslin says Washington is naive about Chinese ambition.

"This does not mean we make China our number one enemy.  It does not mean you create an Asian NATO against China," he said. "I think it means that you just act realistically and understand that Beijing has very little interest in upholding any of the norms that we profess are important to us in working constructively with us or our allies."

Talks in Beijing continue Thursday on bilateral investments and currency valuation.

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by: NG from: Canada
July 16, 2014 1:06 AM
Talking to each other is always good to understand each other and avoid prejudices. I noticed that there are some people here have strong prejudices about China without knowing them well and without communicating effectively with China. Politics is sometimes hard to say right and wrong, negotiation and talking make more sense for the modern countries.

South China Sea boundary (i.e. 9-dash line) was set by KMT (Taiwan, an ally of US from WWII to Now) in 1940s, and well recognized by some Southeastern countries, Vietnam even recognized 9-dash line by written form in 1950-1970s, but Vietnam changed its mind later. In the past 20-30 years, Vietnam changed their mind and used 1980s so-called sea treaty to try to get more South China Sea back. The sea treaty is ratified in 1980s and is not applicable for boundary set in 1950-1970s between China and Vietnam. We cannot use current law to judge cases which happened before the law was in effect. BTW, Vietnam even claimed almost all of South China Sea as its territory.

Please also remember that it is Vietnam who occupied most South China Sea islands and extracted (is extracting) huge amounts of gas and oil from South China Sea , NOT China, China didn’t get one drop of oil from South China sea so far. So it is Vietnam who bully China, a small dog is biting a big elephant.

China has legal basis and principles about South China Sea, and peaceful talking is the only way to solve these problems instead of blaming China without enough communications.

by: Frank from: O.C. USA
July 09, 2014 4:24 PM
American indecisive policy is annoying allied nations such as Japan, Australia, Philippines, Taiwan, and S. Korea. USA should not too much rely on or overestimate Sino economy. Sooner or later, Sino bubble economy collapses. Being too much amicable to China and saying "no position" will make allied nations leave USA, as recent S. Korea. China (PRC) is not worthy of being trusted.

by: Reality
July 09, 2014 4:05 PM
In my opinion, love between the two elephants is better than fight because the demolition. Love can generate small baby.
In Response

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 09, 2014 10:11 PM
Is there a one-child policy for elephants?

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 09, 2014 2:20 PM
Americans must be naive to believe that amity or harmony between USA and China is welcome by many Asian nations. Not true. In realpolitik many of them feel better if USA and China stay in a rivalry relationship.

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 09, 2014 1:54 PM
Remember what Lee Kuan Yew said:" when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. When two elephants make love, the grass suffers too". In fact, when the grass suffers, it can't tell whether the elephants fight or make love. These two elephants make love for one moment and fight for another. Their behavior is unpredictable and disastrous. That is my additional statement.

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