US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday that the United States has had a "best" relationship with China in over 30 years, in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday.
"But we have a good relationship with China. I would submit it's the best relationship that the United States has had with China in over 30 years," Powell said in an interview with CNBC's weekly program "The Wall Street Journal Report," which is also aired on some 200 broadcast stations across the country.
Transcripts of the interview were released by the State Department on its website on Saturday.
Powell lauded China's role in regional affairs, particularly in South Asia and on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
"I have found the Chinese leadership over the last three or four years...to be very helpful as we worked our way through problems on the (South Asian) subcontinent, the challenge that we faced two years ago between India and Pakistan," he said.
On the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he said "China is playing a very helpful role in the resolution of the problem with" the DPRK, and that "it's China that's been hosting these six-party talks and playing a leadership as well as a hosting role."
The United State is pleased to have a strong economic relationship with China, and would rather "be competing with China in the world of economics than in other kinds of worlds," Powell said.
The Chinese are sensitive to the trade imbalance between the two countries, and that the Chinese side is doing more to buy more from the Untied States, he said.
"So what we want to do is engage China, watch how they develop in the future, watch it with caution, but not with fear; watch it for the purpose of moving along with China and not trying to contain China," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2004)