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Stung by Tillerson comment on India ties, Beijing urges US to shed bias

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

Beijing, Oct. 19 (Reuters): China said on Thursday it hopes the United States can abandon its bias and see China objectively, following US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's call for a broader alliance to check instances of Beijing's ”disadvantageous” influence in Asia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters China steadfastly upheld the international order with the United Nations at the core.

Tillerson said on Wednesday ahead of a visit to India the Trump administration wants to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi.

He said the US seeks constructive relations with China but will not shrink from instances where China “subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and disadvantages the US” and its friends.

Speaking in Washington, less than a month before President Donald Trump is due to make his first state visit to China, Tillerson said the United States had begun to discuss creating alternatives to Chinese infrastructure financing in Asia.

In another comment likely to upset Beijing, he said Washington saw room to invite others, including Australia, to join US-India-Japan security cooperation, something Beijing has opposed as an attempt by democracies to gang up on it.

Lu said China hoped the United States could abandon bias when viewing its actions overseas.

“China will never develop itself at the expense of other countries,” Lu told a regular briefing on Thursday. “At the same time we will never give up our justly deserved rights and interests.”

Healthy relations between China and the United States are good for the people of both countries and are expected by the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson did not say what he meant by creating an alternative to Chinese infrastructure financing, but said the Trump administration had begun a “quiet conversation” with some emerging East Asian democracies at a summit in August.

He said Chinese financing was saddling countries with ”enormous” debts and failing to create jobs.

“We think it's important that we begin to develop some means of countering that with alternative financing measures.”

“We will not be able to compete with the kind of terms that China offers, but countries have to decide what are they willing to pay to secure their sovereignty and their future control of their economies and we've had those discussions with them as well,” he said.

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