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China urges US to put ties back on track

By Zhao Huanxin in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-20 07:23

Vice-President Han Zheng shakes hands on Monday with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. GAO JIE/XINHUA

Nations can contribute to progress, gain common prosperity, Han tells Blinken

Vice-President Han Zheng told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York on Monday that China hopes the United States will meet it halfway to bring their relations back on the right track.

In a meeting held on the sidelines of the ongoing 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Han said a sound and stable China-US relationship will benefit both countries and the world.

Describing China's development as an opportunity rather than a challenge, and a gain rather than a risk to the US, Han said the two sides can contribute to each other's progress and achieve common prosperity.

He said that China has maintained consistency and stability in its policy toward the US, and has always viewed and handled bilateral relations based on the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation as put forward by President Xi Jinping.

Han expressed the hope that the US will work with China to follow through on the important consensuses reached between President Xi and US President Joe Biden during their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov 14.

He also said that China hopes the US will take concrete actions, create favorable conditions and do more to enhance understanding, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation, in order to put China-US relations back on a healthy and stable track and deliver benefits to both countries and the world.

Blinken, who visited Beijing three months ago, said the US hopes that China will continue to achieve success and promote world economic growth.

The US looks forward to strengthening its communications with China, managing their differences and advancing cooperation, the top US diplomat said, according to a readout from the Chinese side.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Blinken and Han had "candid and constructive" discussions, building on recent high-level engagements between the two countries to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-China relationship.

Blinken emphasized that the US will continue to use diplomacy to advance its interests and values and to discuss areas of difference, according to the spokesperson.

Blinken also explored potential areas of cooperation and advocated for progress on shared transnational challenges. "Both sides reiterated their commitment to maintaining open lines of communication, including follow-on senior engagements in the coming weeks," the spokesperson said.

In his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Han said the world today is confronted with accelerated changes unseen in a century, with various unstable and uncertain factors intertwined, making it more necessary to uphold true multilateralism and requiring a stronger United Nations.

The vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative — all proposed by President Xi — are highly aligned with the ideals and goals of the UN, and have been widely recognized and actively supported by the international community, Han said.

China will, as always, be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order, and it will support the UN in playing a central role in international affairs, he added.

Guterres thanked Han for China's contribution to the UN and its activities, and the two discussed the need to accelerate climate action as well as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to a statement issued by the office of the UN spokesperson.

A readout from the Chinese side said that Guterres also highly appreciated the important initiatives proposed by President Xi, and said he looked forward to China playing a more leading role in global development.

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