Tiller­son: US-China friendly, ad­ver­sar­ial

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton

of Per­son­nel Man­age­ment and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the US eco­nom­i­cally and in the South China Sea.

“We have to deal with what we see, not with what we hope,” Tiller­son said.

But Tiller­son em­pha­sized “we need to see the pos­i­tive di­men­sions in our re­la­tion­ship with China as well”.

“The eco­nomic well-be­ing of our two na­tions is deeply in­ter­twined. China has been a valu­able ally in cur­tail­ing el­e­ments of rad­i­cal Is­lam. We should not let dis­agree­ments over other is­sues ex­clude ar­eas for pro­duc­tive part­ner­ship,” he said.

Asked about the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pol­icy on Tai­wan, Tiller­son re­it­er­ated the US com­mit­ment to Tai­wan, but said, “I don’t know that there is any plan to al­ter the one China po­si­tion”.

He men­tioned sev­eral times his “whole of China ap­proach”, say­ing “we’ve got to deal with the whole of China ac­tions and rec­og­nize we have these bal­anc­ing forces in our re­la­tion­ship that need to be dealt with.”

Jonathan Pol­lack, a se­nior fel­low at the John L. Thornton China Cen­ter of Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion, said Tiller­son’s tes­ti­mony was not a de­fin­i­tive in­di­ca­tor of fu­ture US for­eign pol­icy to­ward China.

“But his open­ing state­ment and some of his replies to Sen­a­to­rial ques­tions re­veal a de­cid­edly hard edge to his views of China,” he said.

“Though he ac­knowl­edges more pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and in op­pos­ing in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism, his tes­ti­mony makes no men­tion of US- China co­op­er­a­tion on the Ira­nian nu­clear agree­ment or in the Paris cli­mate ac­cords. Such strongly worded com­plaints di­rected against China sug­gest that US-China re­la­tions could be en­ter­ing a much more con­tentious phase as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion as­sumes power,” he said.

Zhiqun Zhu, pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal science and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at Buck­nell Univer­sity in Penn­syl­va­nia, said Tiller­son’s state­ment was more mod­er­ate than he’d ex­pected.

“He does not have a proRus­sia stance and his view of

We should not let dis­agree­ments over other is­sues ex­clude ar­eas for pro­duc­tive part­ner­ship.”

HAN­NON STA­PLE­TON / REUTERS

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump speaks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence in Trump Tower, Man­hat­tan on Wed­nes­day. See story, page 2

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