Obama hopes for steady ties with Bei­jing in long run

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI XIAOKUN lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

De­spite re­cent ten­sions in the South China Sea, Wash­ing­ton has made it clear to Bei­jing that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama wants a sta­ble trans­fer to the next US leader of the progress made on ties with Bei­jing dur­ing his eight years in of­fice.

US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor Su­san Rice brought the mes­sage dur­ing her lat­est visit, a source with the For­eign Min­istry told China Daily on Wed­nes­day.

“Rice spent roughly 70 per­cent of her time in meet­ings here dis­cussing co­op­er­a­tion, and only 30 per­cent on other is­sues,” said the source, who re­quested anonymity.

Rice was in China from Sun­day to Wed­nes­day, mainly to pre­pare for O ba ma’ s at­ten­dance at the G20 Lead­ers’ Sum­mit in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, in Septem­ber. She met with Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and other Chi­nese of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing State Coun­cilor Yang Jiechi.

The visit came amid ten­sions in the South China Sea after Bei­jing re­jected a July 12 ar­bi­tra­tion rul­ing in a case uni­lat­er­ally brought by the Philip­pines over mar­itime dis­putes with China.

“Both sides agreed that we won’t let dis­putes de­fine the re­la­tions,” the source said.

News re­leases is­sued by both sides af­ter­ward fo­cused on bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, with­out di­rectly men­tion­ing the South China Sea is­sue.

How­ever, the source said the two sides did dis­cuss is­sues in­clud­ing the South China Sea and the ad­vanced mis­sile de­fense sys­tem that the United States and the Repub­lic of Korea de­cided to de­ploy in the ROK, a move that has drawn strong op­po­si­tion from China and Rus­sia.

“We made our stances clear that the US should not cite the tri­bunal rul­ing on the South China Sea is­sue and that in­ap­pro­pri­ate han­dling of the THAAD an­timis­sile sys­tem will over­shadow China-US re­la­tions,” he said.

Rice spent a long time dis­cussing anti-ter­ror­ism co­op­er­a­tion in meet­ings with Chi­nese of­fi­cials, and she also touched on many other topics, in­clud­ing a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaty and mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, he added.

“She also said that Pres­i­dent Obama is glad to see a pros­per­ous China, which is in the in­ter­ests of the US, and that Wash­ing­ton is will­ing to work with Bei­jing to en­sure a suc­cess­ful G20 sum­mit,” the source said.

Liu Yo­ufa, for­mer vi­cepres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said, “Rice’s re­marks sent a sig­nal to some Asian coun­tries that the US-China re­la­tions are not only about the South China Sea.

“It is also a warn­ing that th­ese coun­tries’ plan to take ad­van­tage of con­flicts be­tween the US and China to seek their in­ter­ests is un­sus­tain­able and short­sighted.”

Jin Can­rong, dean of the School of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies with Ren­min Univer­sity of China, said that US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry took a sim­i­lar low-pro­file stance on Mon­day while meet­ing with For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi at the ASEAN For­eign Min­is­ters’ Meet­ing.

“Wash­ing­ton has no­ticed the anger in China against the US on the South China Sea is­sue, not only from the gov­ern­ment but also the or­di­nary peo­ple. They know that is not good for US in­ter­ests.”

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