China is sincere in starting a dialogue with the United States to deescalate bilateral tensions on the basis of mutual respect, Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang said in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
"We will continue to work with the U.S. side, as long as there are opportunities for cooperation. However, the cooperation between the two countries must be conducted in the principle of mutual respect," said Qin in respond to questions after delivering a speech at a virtual conversation jointly held by the Carter Center and the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations.
"And the United States should not expect China's cooperation in areas where only the U.S. has demand and interests, while neglecting or even undermining China's interests at the same time, in particular on these core issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
"To be frank, what I worry about is that the United States uses competition to define China-U.S. relations, while competition on the U.S. side often takes the form of confrontation, especially on major issues concerning China's core interests," he said.
"If this does not change, it will undermine China's efforts to promote our mutual trust and cooperation. There is not any example in the history of international relations where the political relationship between two countries is in competition or even confrontation, but other spheres remain safe and sound," he said.
"A very important thing between China and the United States is mutual respect. China is open and inclusive. We welcome and readily accept various suggestions or criticisms, as long as they are objective, truthful, well-intentioned and constructive, and we will make improvements according to them," said the ambassador, adding that "a very important job of mine is to communicate and listen."
"However, we do not accept baseless slander and disinformation. We do not accept condescending lecturing. And we do not accept words or deeds that undermine China's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. Citizens must abide by the law. Likewise, countries must abide by the basic norms governing international relations. U.S. law prohibits secession and racial hatred, but why do some Americans want to treat China in this way?" said Qin.