March 5, 2018 12:12:47 am
China on Sunday insisted it had no interest in overthrowing the existing world order and that it did not want trade war with the US amid rising tensions between two of the world’s largest economies.
“But if the US takes steps to hurt our interest, we will not sit idle,” said Zhang Yesui, the spokesman for 13th National People’s Congress (NPC)’s first session, which will begin Monday.
Zhang, who is also Vice Foreign Minister, called cooperation the only right option for China and the US. He said the two countries had agreed to talk on economic issues for greater cooperation.
“It’s imperative for two countries to perceive each other’s strategic intentions objectively and accurately. Policies formed by misjudgment or wrong presumption will hurt the relations and bring about consequences neither side wants to see,” he said a week after president Donald Trump threatened to levy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. China has been critical of the move and said it would hurt the global economy.
Zhang said the world should not feel threatened by China’s growth. “We have no intention of overthrowing the existing international order. We are continue to be a defender and contributor of the order. Our hope is that international order would evolve for greater equity and justice.”
He rejected the “perception” that China was using the Belt and Road Initiative as a geopolitical tool as a misrepresentation.
Zhang defended defence spending saying it was proportionally lesser than other major countries.
China is doing away with the practice of providing an annual estimate of defence spending ahead of the national budget that will be presented on Monday.
China had last year announced a seven per cent increase in its budget spending of $151.43 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, China is the second biggest spender on defence after the US. China’s military spends almost three times more than that of India.
Zhang said amending Constitution would be the important task at the NPC session.
The Communist Party of China has made public 11 proposed amendments. They include removal of the limit on the presidency to two five-year terms to allow President Xi Jinping to continue beyond his second term that ends in 2023.
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