Elec­tion ‘won’t af­fect Sino-US re­la­tions’: Li

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI XIAOKUN in Bei­jing Lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Premier Li Ke­qiang voiced con­fi­dence on Wed­nes­day over Bei­jing’s ties with Wash­ing­ton, re­gard­less of the out­come of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion later this year.

He made the re­marks when asked about Sino-US ties at his an­nual news con­fer­ence at the end of the two ses­sions.

He said the US elec­tion cam­paign has been lively and has at­tracted wide­spread at­ten­tion. “I be­lieve that no mat­ter who gets into the White House in the end, the un­der­ly­ing trend of China-US ties will not change,” Li said.

“It has been sev­eral decades since the two coun­tries es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions, and the re­la­tion­ship has seen lots of ups and downs, but it has al­ways been mov­ing for­ward, which I be­lieve is the un­der­ly­ing trend.”

He said many peo­ple only saw dif­fer­ences be­tween the two coun­tries and “over­looked one very im­por­tant thing that hap­pened last year” — China be­came the US’ top trad­ing part­ner, with two-way trade reach­ing $560 bil­lion.

“This in it­self shows that the com­mon in­ter­ests be­tween the two coun­tries are con­stantly ex­pand­ing, and far out­weigh their dif­fer­ences,” he said.

To en­sure the healthy de­vel­op­ment of th­ese ties, Li said both coun­tries need to fol­low the prin­ci­ples of equal­ity and mu­tual ben­e­fit, such as in ne­go­ti­a­tions on a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaty.

Shi Yin­hong, a pro­fes­sor of US stud­ies at Ren­min Univer­sity of China, said that as both the Chi­nese and US economies face in­creas­ing un­cer­tain­ties, “it is more ur­gent than in the past for the two na­tions to work to­gether and ac­tively han­dle chal­lenges”.

Ruan Zongze, vice-pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the premier had made a “very im­por­tant strate­gic judg­ment” that “the com­mon in­ter­ests be­tween China and the US far over­weigh their dif­fer­ences”, given the com­plex sit­u­a­tion in bi­lat­eral ties.

On China’s re­la­tions with the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, Li said Bei­jing sees no con­tra­dic­tion be­tween its in­sis­tence on safe­guard­ing its ter­ri­tory and its de­sire for peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

“China will re­main com­mit­ted to the path of peace­ful de­vel­op­ment and ... will not wa­ver in its re­solve to up­hold sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, and th­ese two are not in con­flict.”

He said Bei­jing hopes all coun­tries in the re­gion and out­side it, in­clud­ing the US, will work to­gether to up­hold re­gional sta­bil­ity.

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