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Good sense of mutual respect needed in putting US-China ties back on track: ambassador

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-02-08 14:23

Chinese and US flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China, Jan 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- There is "a clear need for good sense of mutual respect" in putting US-China ties back on "a stable and constructive track", Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said.

"You don't have an effective foreign policy just by talking tough or playing tough. This is not the right way of doing diplomacy. I think there is a clear need for good sense of mutual respect. People have to show good will and good faith," said Cui in an interview aired Sunday with Fareed Zakaria GPS at CNN on China-US relations.

"Frankly, my impression is that this readout still shows the example of power rather than the power of example," said Cui referring to the US side's readout of descriptions of phone call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on Saturday.

"Of course, all countries have values and interests to defend. For China, national sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, these are the core values and core interests we will defend, we will do whatever it takes to defend, no matter who says what," said Cui.

"What has happened in our relations, what has been done by the United States, especially in the last few years, has antagonized the Chinese public very much. This is the truth," he said.

"But I'm still confident if both sides could make the right choice, if we can put the relations back on a stable and constructive track, there's a great potential and opportunity for our two countries, our two great peoples, to work together for mutual benefit and for the common benefit of the entire world," he said.

A few basic things about China must be kept in mind when talking about policies toward China, the ambassador said.

China's development, China's growth, has been made possible by the hard work of the Chinese people and our more than 40 years of reform and opening-up, Cui said, "this is a historical fact. To say otherwise is against the facts and certainly not fair to the Chinese people."

China is still a developing country. Despite great achievements made over the years, there are still huge challenges remaining, he said. "We have to continue to work hard to solve all of these domestic problems. We have just lifted everybody out of absolute poverty, but we have to make sure they will not fall back into poverty. This is a very huge challenge."

"We're also doing our best to improve the environment, to respond to issues like climate change and all these natural disasters," he said.

"So we are still focusing our efforts on domestic economic and social development to give people the possibility of a better life. Internationally, we stand for building together with other countries a global community with a shared future," he said.

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