By David Brunnstrom
NEWYORK (Reuters) – The Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi said on Friday there was “no cause for panic” over friction between Beijing and Washington and that “we can overcome current difficulties.”
At a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump accused Beijing of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections in a bid to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his trade stance. Wang rejected the charge.
Wang told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that concrete actions must be taken to maintain relations between China and the United States and that “history will remember those who taken the lead in the mist.”
The United States and China are embroiled in a trade war, sparked by Trump’s accusations that China has long sought to steal U.S. intellectual property, limit access to its own market and unfairly subsidise state-owned companies.
Wang said China was fostering closer economic ties with Russia as the two economies were complimentary and Moscow and Beijing were on the same page on international issues.
He also warned that further cooperation with China was key in pursuing denuclearisation of its ally North Korea.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned members of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that they must “set the example” by enforcing sanctions on North Korea as China and Russia suggested the council consider easing the tough measures.
Wang also said that China has exercised “utmost restraint” in the South China Sea and seeks peaceful solutions. Wang said Beijing has sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and that people there feel the need for enhanced defences given heavy U.S. military patrols.
China, which says its intentions are peaceful, claims most of the South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion worth of trade passes every year. Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the sea, which has oil and gas deposits and rich fishing grounds.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; editing by Michelle Nichols and Grant McCool)