US urges China to prove ‘intentions’

US urges China to prove ‘intentions’

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
US urges China to prove ‘intentions’

US Secretary of State Clinton renews US calls on China to protect the rights of foreign businesses and improve its human rights record in the US-China Conference. AFP photo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday called on China to show in “concrete ways” that its rise is in the world’s interest, at the conference marked the 40th anniversary of U.S. president Richard Nixon’s history-changing trip to China.

In a wide-ranging speech on relations between the Pacific powers, Clinton renewed U.S. calls on China to protect the rights of foreign businesses and improve its human rights record. Clinton said that China’s growth means that it cannot “have it both ways” by asking to be treated as a rising power in some areas and as a developing nation with fewer responsibilities in others.

“Given the historic challenges to security and stability posed by rising powers, they do have a special obligation to demonstrate in concrete ways that they are going to pursue a constructive path,” Clinton said at the U.S. Institute of Peace. China announced March 4 that its military spending would top $100 billion in 2012, the latest sharp increase that has caused unease among Asian nations. Clinton recognized that China has taken a greater leadership role in a number of areas, including through its contribution to anti-piracy operations off Somalia.

Suspicion on military buildup

But Clinton said that China needed to answer questions about its policies elsewhere -- and pointed to ongoing bloodshed in Syria. “Will it use its power to help end brutal violence against civilians in places like Syria?” Clinton asked. “Will it explain its military buildup and the ultimate goals of its military strategies, policies and programs... to reassure its neighbors, to avoid misunderstandings and to contribute to maintaining regional security?”

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also called on Washington to “honor its commitments” on Tibet and self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory, “so as to prevent setbacks in U.S.-China relations and ensure their steady growth.” “China is committed to peaceful development,” Yang said.

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