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Official calls for peaceful coexistence of China, US

By CAO DESHENG and ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-05 06:40
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A spokesman for the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress called on Thursday for peaceful coexistence between China and the United States, saying that conflict and confrontation serve no one's interests.

Zhang Yesui, the spokesman and also former Chinese ambassador to the United States, made the remark at a news conference ahead of the annual session of the nation's top legislature, which opens on Friday.

In responding to a question about China-US relations, Zhang said China's policy toward the US has been highly stable and consistent.

"It's been China's consistent position to build a China-US relationship in the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation," he said. "At the same time, we are determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests."

It is natural that China and the US may disagree on certain issues, Zhang said, but he suggested that despite their different cultures, histories and social systems, China and the US should coexist peacefully.

"The key to peaceful coexistence is mutual respect-respect for each other's history, culture and traditions, their core interests and major concerns, their choice of political system and development path, as well as the basic norms governing international relations, such as noninterference in internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes," Zhang said.

He said the two countries have important converging interests in wide-ranging areas, such as climate change, COVID-19 response, world economic recovery and maintaining regional peace and stability.

Zhang spoke of the telephone conversation between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on Feb 11, and called on the two countries to take the phone call as an opportunity to enhance communication, focus on cooperation, manage differences and steadily advance China-US relations.

Speaking of China's vaccine cooperation, Zhang said China's efforts to promote international cooperation against COVID-19 are not driven by any geopolitical agenda, nor does it come with any political strings.

"In the face of the pandemic, nothing matters more than people's lives, safety and health," Zhang said. "We hope more countries that have the capacity to take action can provide vaccines to the international community, especially developing countries, in order to boost global efforts against COVID-19."

The Chinese government has been providing vaccine assistance to over 60 countries in total, and so far it has also committed to provide 10 million doses of vaccine to the COVAX vaccine distribution plan to meet the urgent needs of developing countries, according to Zhang.

He said while it is important that vaccines are distributed and used around the world in an equitable manner, it is particularly important to ensure developing countries have access to affordable, safe and effective vaccines.

"For this to happen, the international community needs to work together," he said.

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