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Chinese V-P: World cannot shut out China

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BEIJING : China and the rest of the world must co-exist, Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan said yesterday, in an indirect jab at the United States, with which Beijing is currently trying to resolve a bitter trade war.

"China's development can't shut out the rest of the world. The world's development can't shut out China," Mr Wang said in an opening address to the World Peace Forum at Beijing's elite Tsinghua University.

He also warned against "protectionism in the name of national security", without mentioning the US, and called major powers to make more contributions to global peace and stability.

The Trump administration has accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices that discriminate against US companies, forced technology transfers and intellectual property rights theft, all charges Beijing has denied.

Both sides have levelled increasingly severe tariffs on each other's imports.

China has also been angered by US sanctions against Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies over national security concerns.

Mr Wang, who is extremely close to Chinese President Xi Jinping and who only rarely speaks in public, reiterated China's commitment to opening up.

The world needs China just as much as China needs the world, said Mr Wang, who became vice-president last year, having previously lead Mr Xi's fight against corruption.

"Large countries must assume their responsibilities and set an example, make more contributions to global peace and stability, and broaden the path of joint development," he said.

"Development is the key to resolving all issues," Mr Wang told an audience that included senior Beijing-based Western diplomats and former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy.

Top representatives of the US and China are organising a resumption of talks for this week to try to resolve the year-long trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The two sides have been in communication by telephone since last month's G-20 summit, where US President Donald Trump and Mr Xi agreed to relaunch talks that had stalled in May. - REUTERS