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Iran Press TV

China: Pompeo misrepresented facts about Arctic affairs

Iran Press TV

Tue May 7, 2019 02:04PM

China says what US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims about its role in the Arctic rests on "ulterior motives" that lead Washington to contradict the facts.

Speaking on the eve of a meeting of the eight members of the Arctic Council, Pompeo said in northern Finland on Monday that the US plans to beef up its Arctic presence to keep Russia's and China's "aggressive behavior" in check in the region.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing that the remarks were "a misrepresentation of the facts that has ulterior motives."

China will "not intervene" in matters between Arctic countries, but it will also "not be absent" from global issues on the Arctic, he added.

Geng said China has participated in Arctic affairs with "an open, cooperative and win-win attitude."

"We have no geopolitical calculations, and seek no exclusionary blocs."

"The Arctic issue is not only related to Arctic countries, but is also of global significance and international influence."

The Chinese official said Beijing was willing to cooperate with others to protect, exploit and govern the Arctic.

The US and Russia are members of the Arctic Council, but China only holds an observer status.

According to Pompeo, Beijing has invested massively in the region, almost $90 billion between 2012 and 2017, and intends to fully benefit from the advantages of the Northern Sea Route.

The shipping channel, which significantly cuts sailing times between the Pacific and Atlantic by passing north of Russia, is increasingly usable as the ice melts.

Elsewhere in the briefing, Geng said the administration of US President Donald Trump could not resolve any problem by adding tariffs on nearly all of the Chinese products headed to the United States.

The Chinese official welcomed negotiations on the issue of tariffs.

"Talks are by their nature a process of discussion. It's normal for both sides to have differences. China won't shun problems and is sincere about continuing talks."

"We hope the US side can work hard with China, to meet each other halfway, and on the basis of mutual respect and equality, resolve each other's reasonable concerns, and strive for a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement."

The widely-read state-run Global Times tabloid said in an editorial that Beijing's willingness to continue with the talks in the face of Trump's tweets shows it would remain calm and "focus on the talks rather than engage in public opinion warfare."

In a commentary, the paper's parent, the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, said China had weathered such threats from the United States before, and would keep calm.

On Sunday, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on US-bound Chinese products, while announcing a dramatic increase in the tariffs that are already in place.

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