In a wide ranging interview with CCTV America, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry re-affirmed that the U.S. ‘does not view China as an inevitable rival.’ “We do not have a policy of containment or encirclement of China,” he said.
Kerry was joined by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in a wide ranging interview to preview the sixth annual meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Beijing. The meetings begin July 8-10. CCTV News Washington correspondent Wang Guan conducted the interview.
The entire interview will be broadcast on the CCTV America main evening News Hour at 9pm US Eastern time on Tuesday July 8th (9 am Wednesday Beijing time).
In addressing key U.S.-China issues, Kerry called on China to work through “the Law of the Sea and different courts of arbitration” to solve territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. He defended the Obama Administration’s so called “Pivot to Asia.” “What we are trying to do is grow the relationship of a Pacific nation, said Kerry. “We are a Pacific nation and have been for hundreds of years.”
Asked whether the United States pursued a double standard on economic cyber-espionage amid accusations that the US National Security Agency hacked into the accounts of private firms and trade officials, Kerry responded vigorously, “I can absolutely guarantee you that the United States does not engage in any kind of information gathering through any government security service in order to advance American business.”
On the turmoil in Iraq, Kerry argued that the 2003 US invasion of Iraq left “a huge residual hangover – a cloud that hangs over the region as a consequence of that decision.”
“Now, we are working very hard to empower the Iraqis”, said Kerry, to make decisions that would produce “a representative unity government that brings people together…. and to make decisions in the next few days.”
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On economic issues, Secretary Jack Lew raised the issue of fluctuations in the Chinese currency’s exchange rate. Citing progress on the exchange rate issue, Lew called on China to show more ‘transparency – to be clear when the government was intervening and why.”
Lew told CCTV America that he looked forward to continuing negotiations on a U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty. “Treaties don’t get negotiated in days or weeks,” Lew said, “but we continue to make progress and continue to open markets.”
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Both Lew and Kerry suggested that China would be welcomed “eventually” to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new free agreement the United States is negotiating with 11 other countries. So far, China has not joined treaty negotiations.
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