Fri Jan 27, 9:52 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Top US officials, recognizing China’s growing influence, say they are trying to persuade Beijing to act as a “responsible actor” on the world stage amid disagreements and rivalry between the two powers.
With China’s rising star dominating the
World Economic Forum in Davos, US representatives sounded a note of apprehension about Beijing’s diplomacy.
US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said it was up to Washington and other powers to encourage China to act as a “stakeholder” in the international arena and not merely pursue its own economic interests.
“Now, the rise of China is something we don’t only take note of, but we believe that there is an obligation by all of the powers, but perhaps particularly the United States, to engage in policies that will encourage … the responsible stakeholder China, the China that sees it has an obligation in the international system to promote and, in fact, to defend peace and security,” Rice said Thursday in a video conference at the Davos event.
“China is, after all, one of the permanent five members of the Security Council,” Rice said.
Washington has been lobbying China to set aside its economic appetite for oil and back calls for
Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program.
A crucial meeting on the issue is set for February 2 when the board of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) convenes in Vienna.
Deputy Secretary of State
Robert Zoellick, who has been meeting Chinese officials this week, said that Beijing was not “taking the exact same route as the US” on the Iranian nuclear issue.
According to Rice, Beijing has played an important role in six-party talks with
North Korea. This indicated that China “understands that it has a crucial role to play in not just commenting on security but actually promoting a more secure environment,” she said.
As one of the biggest importers of raw materials from Latin America, China has made its mark in a region previously dominated by Washington.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vehement critic of the United States, sought to align his government with China when he said he rejected Taiwan’s independence.
Bolivia’s new leftist president, Evo Morales, travelled to China soon after his election victory, seeking to forge economic ties for his impoverished country with major natural gas reserves.
During his visit, Morales said that China was a “political and ideological ally of the Bolivian people.”
In Africa, China’s economic influence has raised concerns in Washington.
“So one would hope that China’s investment would be broader and that it would contribute not only to China’s development and growth, which is at such a high pace … but it would also contribute to Africa’s growth and development.”
Hahaha even Taiwan’s “master” is scared of mighty China!