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China’s Wang Yi: Seize the Opportunity for Peace—Conflict Means Only a ‘Lose-Lose’ Situation

March 20, 2017 (EIRNS)—Speaking today at the China Development Forum in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the issue of Sino-U.S. relations, following last weekend’s visit by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, expressing confidence that both nations can avoid the Thucydides Trap—when a rising power causes fear in an established power, leading to an escalation toward war.

"China," he said, "has the confidence to avoid the historical precedent through enhanced dialogue and coordination with the U.S. side," Xinhua reported. He emphasized that as the interests of emerging powers and established powers converge in an interconnected world, conflicts will lead to "nothing but a lose-lose situation." Praising Secretary Tillerson, Wang Yi underscored that China is prepared to "advance bilateral ties from a strategic perspective."

Regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Wang Yi was clear: "No matter what the possibility, any chance for dialogue must be seized. Whatever chance there is for peace, we cannot abandon it." He elaborated on China’s proposals, which he said were "realistic and reasonable." These include the "dual-track approach"—denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, replacing the Korean armistice with a peace agreement at the same time, and the "suspension-for-suspension proposal," which entails the D.P.R.K.’s suspension of missile and nuclear activities in exchange for a halt of the large scale U.S.-South Korean military exercises which Pyongyang views as a grave threat.

"Such solutions aim for resuming talks and early harvests," Wang emphasized, adding that it is necessary to adopt a more flexible attitude and "be creative" in resolving this issue.

In her regular press conference today, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chungying was asked about the Foreign Minister’s call to seize any chance for dialogue on the Korean Peninsula. She replied that now is the time to make a choice

"between ratcheting up tension towards possible conflicts, or follow Security Council resolutions to find a breakthrough in resuming talks and returning to the negotiating table."

Hua expressed the hope that "relevant parties" will seriously consider China’s "dual-track approach" and "suspension for suspension" proposals. "We hope that all parties can be level-headed when judging the current situation, make their choices wisely, and discover opportunities amid challenges."