Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai was responding to questions on the recent India-centric policy speech by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the decision of the Trump administration to sell to India high-tech military equipment, including state-of-the-art armed drones, and the Japanese proposal of a strategic quadrilateral dialogue involving India and Australia.
“I don’t think that the sales of advanced arms would really serve that purpose,” Cui said.
Political analysts in the west have described the sale of arms to India as a US move to contain China.
“By the way I don’t think anybody would be able to contain China,” the Chinese Ambassador asserted in his rare press conference at the Embassy of China here.
The top diplomat was addressing media ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to China early next month.
Trump is scheduled to embark on a 10-day visit to China. He would also visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Cui said China is “open to cooperation among the regional countries” for stability and prosperity.
The relationship between China and India “have been developing quite steadily over the years”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said, has always said that Pacific Ocean is large enough to accommodate that development both of China and the US, and the Asia-Pacific region is big enough to accommodate the development of China, India and Japan.
“In this regard I hope all parties will do things conducive to better relations, better mutual trust,” he said.
Without mentioning the recent stand-off between India and China, Cui said he does not think that “confrontation” is in the interest of either of the two countries.
“I’m quite confident that both countries have a clear recognition of what will serve their respective interests best,” he said, responding to a question on India and the move to have a strategic dialogue involving four countries – India, Japan, US and Australia.
Any relationship between any two countries in the region, between any regional country and another country outside of the region should not be a zero sum game, he said when asked about the strengthening of India US relationship, which many say is aimed at China.
“Good relations between China and the US is not at the expense of any other country. The same should be true for relations between US and India and Japan and India,” he said.
It is not in the interest of these countries if their aim is to sort of “contain” China, the top Chinese diplomat said.
Cui said all the regional countries in the Indo-Pacific have shared interests in greater stability, peace and better prospects for prosperity.
In order to achieve that regional countries have to work together and have to promote closer cooperation among them and maybe establish appropriate regional mechanisms, he said.
As such, China is open to cooperation with all its neighbours so that Asia-Pacific will continue to be a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.
“We are following developments in the region very closely and hopefully other countries will have the same approach as we have,” he said, responding to a question on quadrilateral dialogue between India, Japan, US and Australia.
Cui said he does not think that “any attempt to form exclusive clubs in the region following a so-called zero sum approach will help anybody”.