US 'should play constructive role in region'

Updated: 2011-12-19 08:09

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

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Asia-Pacific is big enough for both countries to cooperate: diplomat

BEIJING - China does not intend, nor is it able, to squeeze the US out of the Asia-Pacific region, which is big enough for both to coexist and cooperate, a senior diplomat said during a review of the diplomatic year.

China hopes the US can play a constructive role and respect China's core interests in the Asia-Pacific region, assistant Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said during the 2011 Review and Outlook diplomatic seminar held by the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing on Sunday.

When responding to the strategic shift by the US in the Asia-Pacific, Le said that the US actually never left the region and China is confident that any problem can be solved through cooperation instead of confrontation.

The strategic reengagement since 2010 by the US in the Asia-Pacific region has been widely interpreted as trying to counterbalance China's rising clout in the region. Many Chinese experts consider this US policy shift to pose the biggest challenge for China's future development.

"Because of our peaceful development and openness, China is able to 'dance with the wolves' like its economy has done during the past 10 years as a WTO member," he said.

Diplomacy is not a zero-sum game in today's increasingly integrated world, he said. China, unswervingly committed to peaceful development, never engages in aggression or expansion, and never seeks hegemony, he said.

"The world will be much safer with more cooperation, instead of weapons."

There are two different perceptions about China's diplomacy in 2011. The West is critical about what it claims is China's tough foreign policy, while some domestic critics said that we are too soft in our diplomacy, Le said.

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