July 27, 2005

China calls its rise an opportunity, not a threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's rapid development is an
opportunity rather than a threat to the world, a senior Chinese
official said on Wednesday, seeking to stem a rising tide of
anti-Beijing sentiment in the United States.

State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, in a speech, advised
Americans not to "politicize" or "get emotional" about trade
issues. He also said Beijing would improve intellectual
property rights protections and promised to work with
Washington to promote world peace.

Tang, who recently visited North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
in Pyongyang as an envoy of Chinese President Hu Jingtao, also
predicted the Korean peninsula eventually would be peacefully

Experts said his remarks to a luncheon sponsored by the
National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China
Business Council broke little new ground but was clearly an
attempt by Beijing to portray a benign face.

Anti-China sentiments have been rising, mostly in the U.S.
Congress, over worries about Beijing's expanding economic
might, its growing trade surplus with the United States and a
steady military buildup.

"China's development is an opportunity instead of a threat
to the world. That is becoming the consensus of the
international community," Tang said.

"The more China gets developed, the more it can contribute
to world peace, stability and prosperity and the more
opportunities it can bring to the rest of the world," he said.

With China now the United States' third largest trading
partner and fastest growing export market, frictions are
expected but the two sides must "work out the problems with
equal-footed consultations and strive for a win-win result,"
Tang said.

"To politicize trade issues or to get emotional about them
does not help solve problems," he added.

Tang said China does not strive for a prolonged trade
surplus with the United States and is determined to make good
on its World Trade Organization commitments .

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to IPR
(intellectual property rights) protection and will step up
measures in this regard," he said.

Tang, in Washington to help prepare for Hu's visit to the
United States later this year, met Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday. The agenda included trade, the
WTO, Taiwan and the fourth round of six-party talks on North
Korea's nuclear program now under way in Beijing.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack described the
meeting as a good one and said Rice "underscored the importance
of China maintaining its WTO obligations, as well as looking
out for intellectual property rights issues."

On North Korea, the two officials "compared notes" on what
has taken place at the Beijing talks, McCormack said.

Answering questions after his speech, Tang said the United
States and China had a shared duty and responsibility to ensure
the six-party talks produce "real progress" in this round and
advance regional stability.

He expressed confidence that ultimately, the Korean
peninsula will realize its independent and peaceful
reunification but complained that Taiwan was blocking Beijing's
friendly overtures, including not allowing the communist
mainland to give the self-ruled island a gift of pandas.