China does not believe it is inevitable that emerging powers will confront established ones, and the nation is confident that clashes can be avoided by working on the issue with the United States, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.
Wang made the remarks two days after media reported that a Chinese warship escorting China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the South China Sea on Dec 5 confronted the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which was closely following the Chinese ships despite warnings from the Chinese.
In spite of the tension, the foreign minister called US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday night to discuss bilateral ties and other international issues, including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
Addressing a year-end seminar in Beijing focusing on changes in China's foreign policies under the new government, the minister said that throughout history, it seems to be a matter of fate that "major powers, especially emerging powers and established ones, will compete, confront and even clash with each other.
"However, today, in the 21st century and given fast-developing globalisation, China neither believes in nor agrees with the idea of such a fate."
President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, promised to build a new type of relationship between major countries during an informal summit in Rancho Mirage, California, in early June.
Xi described the relationship as one with mutually beneficial cooperation and mutual trust that works to avoid conflicts and confrontation.
Wang noted that in the past year, the two presidents met twice, while US Vice-President Joe Biden made a visit to China earlier this month.
The two nations held a fruitful round of strategic and economic talks, while negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty have entered the "pragmatic phase", the minister said.