China's top political advisory body warns West over 'ulterior motives'
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China's top political advisory body warns West over 'ulterior motives'

The US and its allies are coming down heavily on the world's second-largest economy over its trade practices, human rights and maritime claims. Spokesman for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guo Weimin vehemently dismissed them, saying they concern "issues that involve our sovereignty and security interests."  Guo said China's philosophy was based on forging a win-win cooperation and building a community of common destiny. While the philosophy has been "widely recognized" by the global community, there are also countries which are out to smear China, he told reporters in Beijing.  His remarks came as the foremost political advisory body on Sunday began its annual meeting which will last for almost two weeks.  On Tuesday, the National People's Congress will start its sessions at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, to be attended by some 5,000 delegates from around the country.   They come amid claims that China has an image problem abroad as it has grown in wealth and assertiveness.  Guo rejected those claims, saying China's development path and philosophy had attracted kudos from the international community. "There are some who misjudge China due to insufficient understanding, but also others who have ulterior motives and are out to smear China," he said. China is embroiled in a lingering trade dispute with the US, taking a battering to its economy which is beginning to lose steam.  The United States has recently been targeting major Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies. Washington is portraying them as a security threat, while claiming Beijing's landmark Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructure projects in developing countries is creating debt traps for their recipients.   The US is also challenging China's island-building and other activities in the South China Sea which is believed to sit atop vast reserves of oil and gas.   Guo said, "Looking around, whether it is our neighbors or the various important regions of the world, we have more and more good friends. "At the same time, it is undeniable that there are some discussions about China's development, some differing voices, and some people who view China's development as a threat," he said. ‘Cooperation the best way forward’ The official touched on the prospects of ending trade disputes with United States, saying a deal between Beijing and Washington would be “good news for the world economy.” “China and the United States reaching a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement as soon as possible will be not only good for the two countries, but also good news for the world economy,” he said. "It is a proven fact that China and the US will both stand to gain if they cooperate, and be harmed if they fight each other. Cooperation is the best way forward,” he added. Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump at the latter's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in late March in a bid to end the two countries' trade dispute. However, there are several obstacles to surmount - foremost among them the question of Taiwan which China views a breakaway province that will eventually rejoin the mainland.  Washington's military relations with the island nation and its support for secessionist forces in Taiwan are also a frequent irritant in ties with Beijing.  Relations have further soured since Huawei was put under growing scrutiny by the United States and Canada. The countries are accusing the company of spying on behalf of the Beijing government. Last December, Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at a Vancouver airport in Canada on a US arrest warrant and put on house arrest. The arrest has infuriated Beijing which has warned Ottawa of due consequences, especially if she is extradited to the US.  Following Meng’s detention, China arrested two Canadian citizens on national security grounds and a Chinese court later sentenced to death another Canadian national who previously had been jailed for drug smuggling.

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