U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, the United States, Aug. 13, 2014. Kerry said on Wednesday that the United States is seeking to forge a relationship with China that broadens cooperation on "common interests." (Xinhua/Zhu Wei)
WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the United States is seeking to forge a relationship with China that broadens cooperation on "common interests."
The top American diplomat elaborated on U.S. Asia-Pacific strategy in remarks delivered at the East-West Center think tank in Honolulu, Hawaii, as he wrapped up his sixth visit to the region.
"One thing that I know will contribute to maintaining regional peace and stability is a constructive relationship between the United States and China," Kerry said. "President (Barack) Obama has made it clear that the United States welcomes the rise of a peaceful, prosperous and stable China."
He cited bilateral cooperation on climate change, Iran nuclear talks, the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and South Sudan. "We're busy trying to define a great power relationship by the places where we can find mutual agreement and cooperation," he said.
"We are committed to avoiding the trap of strategic rivalry and intent on forging a relationship in which we broaden our cooperation on common interests and constructively manage our differences and disagreements," Kerry said.
He suggested at an ASEAN regional forum held in Myanmar's capital of Nay Pyi Taw over the weekend that all claimants "freeze" provocative actions in the South China Sea.
"The United States of America takes no position on questions of sovereignty in the South and East China Seas, but we do care about how those questions are resolved," he said, stressing that the U.S. firmly opposes the use of intimidation and coercion or force to assert a territorial claim.
The U.S. proposal was rebuffed by Beijing, saying Washington is stoking flames by exaggerating the tension in the region and emboldening the Philippines and Vietnam to take more hardline position in their disputes with China.
It also received cool response from some ASEAN members, who fear the U.S. intervention may disturb the ongoing efforts by ASEAN and China to ensure regional peace and stability and hurt their relations with Beijing.