Ambassador: China wants to end trade war but US keeps changing position
China wants to end the trade war with the US, but the US's position keeps changing, said Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the US on Wednesday.
Cui made this remark during an interview at National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters.
Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, gives a speech at the reception to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. [Photo: fmprc.gov.cn]
"The US's position keeps changing all the time, so we don't know exactly what the US would want as priorities," said Cui in the interview.
Cui reiterated that China does not want a trade war with the US, and hopes the two sides can resolve the disputes through negotiations.
He stressed the importance of "good faith" for successful negotiations, of which the US has not shown enough.
According to Cui, the two sides have kept in contact during the past months, and had extensive discussions in various areas. He said China is willing to make some concessions to reach an agreement, but it needs goodwill from both sides.
"We offered to reduce the trade deficit of the US, for instance. And we also presented a very good proposal to the US side about the further reform and opening up in China, some of the so-called structural issues. We are ready to work on the issues," the ambassador said.
"More than once we had some tentative agreement between the two working teams, then just overnight the tentative agreement was rejected, and the demand from the US changed. So this is very confusing, and this is making things very difficult," he added.
China-US relations need more cooperation than competition
"I think between any two countries, maybe especially between China and the US, there is a certain degree of competition. This is only natural," Cui said.
He added that there's also a much greater need for cooperation, saying that no country can really handle all the challenges all by itself.
"We have to cooperate whether we like it or not. This is a growing mutual need and a common interest," Cui noted.
"We are always ready to cooperate with the US even if we have differences and maybe just because we have differences the need for cooperation is even bigger."
'Meet halfway' on South China Sea issue
The Haixun 1103 cruise vessel heads to the Yacheng 13-1 drilling rig during a patrol in the South China Sea, on September 25, 2015. [Photo: Xinhua]
"We have sovereignty over many of the islands in the South China Sea. And this has been a longstanding position of China despite a change of government, you see, in 1949," said Cui.
He added that some territorial disputes do exist but "we're ready to work with other countries to have negotiations to have a final solution to such disputes."
"That's why we are working on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea with the ASEAN countries."
Cui added that all parties concerned should work to maintain stability and order in the South China Sea and try to jointly develop resources before territorial sovereignty disputes can be resolved.
He also called on the US to meet China halfway, instead of undermining the process.
Good progress on Korean Peninsula
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) and Kim Yong Chol (L), a DPRK senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang on July 7, 2018. [Photo: VCG]
Cui hailed the recent progress made by the US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) toward a completely denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
"My recommendation is that the US should continue its talks with the DPRK and try to take steps to encourage the DPRK to take further steps toward denuclearization," Cui added.
As for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the DPRK on Sunday, Cui said that he hopes that Pompeo has some clear ideas to present to the DPRK.
"Not only no American nuclear weapons, but the DPRK should not have nuclear weapons either. That's very clear," said Cui.
He noted that the US and the DPRK should reach some agreement on the definition of denuclearization.
The DPRK has announced that it will shift its strategic priority to economic development, Cui noted.
"Peace and stability on the peninsula meet the interest of all parties concerned."
The ambassador also responded that China will comprehensively and strictly implement the United Nations Security Council's resolutions when asked about the sanctions on the DPRK.