Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talks about China-US relations and China's economic development in the Statemen's Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday. (Photo by Chen Weihua/China Daily)
Foreign Minister Wang Yi rejected the notion that China will become a major rival of the United States or supersede it.
In a 90-minute talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Thursday morning, Wang said China will focus on its own development for a long time and has no intentions of challenging any other country.
According to Wang, the interests of the two countries have become so interconnected and interdependent that only cooperation can ensure a win-win scenario, while conflict is destined to bring about a no-win situation.
"What's more important is that China is China. Even if China enjoys further development in the future, it will not become another United States," said Wang, who wound up his three-day US trip on Thursday.
He said China will strengthen its ties with nations across the world and play its role in a unique Chinese way and with Eastern thinking, something he described as based on "harmony and inclusiveness".
A lack of strategic trust between the two countries has been a big concern for people watching and working on the China-US relationship. The top Chinese diplomat stressed that the two countries' common interests far outweigh their differences.
He also briefed the audience on China's economic development, saying such development will provide even greater opportunities for the US and the rest of the world.
Trade between China and the US hit $558 billion last year, making China the largest trading partner of the US.
In front of an audience of many foreign policy experts, Wang outlined China's foreign policy priorities for the foreseeable future.
He vowed that China will become more active in tackling global and regional hot-spot issues, as China is doing regarding Iran's nuclear agreement and reconciliation in Afghanistan, Syria and South Sudan.
Carla Hills, who was US trade representative from 1989 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush, said: "I thought he made a wonderful presentation. It had a lot of facts. And he was very, very presentable.
"I think the whole audience was extremely impressed. … I feel privileged to be in the audience," said Hills, who is chairwoman of the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Douglas Paal, vice-president for studies and director of the Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described Wang as "a very self-confident, well-briefed minister of foreign affairs" and "a very reasonable presenter".
"He is taking the opportunity to talk past media and directly to the American people," Paal said.