China's foreign minister is cautioning the United States to respect Beijing's core interests in places like Taiwan and Tibet as the two countries work to build trust between them.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is also urging the world community to allow the people of the Middle East to solve their problems without outside interference.
Yang spoke at a news conference Tuesday on the sidelines of the annual National People's Congress session in Beijing.
Regarding U.S.-Chinese relations, Yang called for more high-level exchanges between the two countries as a way to build trust.
“We believe the two sides should always adhere to the principles set out in three joint Sino-US Communiques and China US joint statements. We should truly respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and in particular the US side needs to honor its commitments and carefully and properly handle Taiwan and Tibet related issues that concern China's core interests.”
But he said Washington must honor commitments it has made in a series of joint communiques, particularly concerning Taiwan and Tibet.
Yang welcomed recent progress in talks between the United States and North Korea, which agreed last week to suspend some of its nuclear programs. He said the talks have been positive and involved “sound interactions.”
Addressing the turmoil in the Middle East, Yang said the region's problems should be resolved by the local people themselves.
“We firmly believe that people in the Middle East know best the situation there. Issues in the Middle East region should be solved by the people of the Middle East. The future and destiny of the Middle East should be determined by the people there.”
China joined Russia in blocking a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The minister also said China opposes the development of nuclear weapons by Iran but respects that country's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
On economic matters, Yang said China has full confidence in the European common currency and expects to continue to invest there. He said he hopes the global recovery will gain new momentum from a summit later this month of the rapidly developing countries known as the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
((The following soundbites are also available in the Reuters feed below:
(Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER, YANG JIECHI SAYING:
“On the Iranian nuclear issue, we are opposed to the development and possession of nuclear weapons by any country in the Middle East, including Iran. At the same time, we believe that all countries, while fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations, have the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy.''
(Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER, YANG JIECHI SAYING: “We hope that all the parties concerned will pull together their wisdom, remove disturbances and work together to play a constructive role for advancing the six-party process, achieving the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and lasting peace and stability in northeast Asia.''