US taking wrong approach

Updated: 2012-06-29 08:09

(China Daily)

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As Thursday marked the deadline set by the United States for other countries to stop importing oil from Iran, some are waiting to see whether Washington will impose sanctions on Chinese companies still forging oil deals with Iran.

Washington has "exempted" some 18 economies from its Iranian oil embargo, leaving China the only big country without such a "blessing" from the US.

Beijing reiterated again last week that its oil imports are based on its economic development needs, which neither violate relevant UN Security Council resolutions, nor undermine the interests of a third party or the international community.

Hence, it is natural that China strongly opposes any US moves to punish Chinese companies conducting normal oil imports from Iran based on the mandate of a US domestic law. If the US insists on going its own way, it will fuel new tensions between the two countries and have an adverse effect on bilateral ties.

To strangle Iran's alleged nuclear arms program, the US is saddling unilateral sanctions against the Islamic country under its National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which was signed by US President Barack Obama at the end of last year. The practice is perceived as serving two purposes: to further isolate Iran and to press China to follow the US' footsteps.

But as a country with an independent foreign policy and firm commitment to contributing to world peace and development, China never trades principles for economic gains. It cherishes its relations with the US, but it will always firmly stand on its principles when the US is in the wrong.

Time will show that those who count on China yielding to US pressure have miscalculated. China will continue to advocate and facilitate negotiations and dialogue, which it believes are a better choice to resolve complicated issues such as the Iranian nuclear crisis. It has taken an active role in international mediations that have prevented the crisis from escalating.

Having engaged Teheran in two rounds of talks with members of the international community, there is no reason not to maintain this desirable momentum. After all, the world now has a better opportunity to solve the issue in peace. Sanctions, especially unilateral sanctions, will squander this opportunity and be detrimental to the progress made so far.