China will not succumb to blackmail and threats from the US – Wang Yi

China-US relations are not a zero-sum game and the US should address the bilateral ties based on the principles of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

This comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a recent policy speech, described China as “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order. In response to this, Wang said there are major misconceptions in the US views about the world, China and China-US relations.

Wang, who is on the fourth leg of his current tour to the Pacific island countries, said the US has, in fact, become a source of turbulence that undermines the current world order.

“What we want to tell the US is that China-US relations are not a zero-sum game designed by the US side,” Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese FM as saying.

“We will never yield to blackmail or coercion, and will firmly defend China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he added.

This visit comes a day after Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong paid a two-day visit to Fiji amid the ongoing quest among western countries and China to bring the strategically located island nation into their sphere of influence.

Wong, who arrived in Fiji on Thursday afternoon, met with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretary-General Henry Puna.

“Our Pacific family is strongest when we work together. Today I met with @FijiPM to reinforce Australia’s commitment to the Vuvale Partnership. Regional unity has never been more important, as we face unprecedented challenges including COVID, climate change and strategic contest,” Wong tweeted.

The newly appointed Australian FM was in Fiji to work with its Pacific partners to achieve goals – including tackling climate change, pandemic recovery, economic development, and regional security.

Experts believe that China is seeking a regional agreement with Pacific island nations that would expand its role in policing, maritime cooperation, and cybersecurity and also plans to offer scholarships for over 2,000 workers and young diplomats.

Beijing sent the drafts of the deal to 10 Pacific countries seem aimed to counter American efforts to strengthen alliances in Asia, The New York Times reported.

Covering a range of issues, the documents appear to be a joint communique that Beijing wants the countries to adopt. They offer a detailed outline of how Beijing seeks to win friends and gain greater access to the island chains that have long played a strategic role in Asia’s geopolitical contests.