China's culture minister calls U.S. concerns of "China threat" a misunderstanding

Concerns that China's growing power threatens the United States come from a misunderstanding of modern China and from prejudice, China's culture minister said Monday.

Several recent hearings in the U.S. Congress have focused on China and whether the communist country's new world presence clashes with U.S. interests. U.S-China strains include textile imports, China's growing economic and military power, and human rights.

Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng, in a speech at the National Press Club that made reference to Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Confucius and kung fu, said China's leaders understand that their country's development is closely linked to the world's development.

The perception that China threatens the United States, he said through a translator, is a "misunderstanding of China's reality, history and customs" and an "outdated mentality spreading frictions."

China can't change the views of such people, Sun said, "because prejudice often is much further away from the truth ... than even ignorance."

"For the majority of the world's peoples," he said, "their unnecessary worries and concerns about China are all derived from their lack of knowledge about China's current situation and cultural traditions."

Sun spoke briefly of a U.S. trade deficit with China that last year hit an all-time high of $162 billion (Ђ135.76 billion) and is on track to be 30 percent higher this year, encouraging the United States to export more goods to China.

He also said China has increased efforts to tighten its lax enforcement of intellectual property rights so as to encourage foreign investment in China _ not in response to foreign pressure.

The differences between China and America, Sun said, only add to the "curiosity and mutual appeal" the people of the countries feel for each other.

"A world without differences would be less noisy but could risk losing its glory and fade into quiet isolation," Sun said. "I want America to feel that love comes from China, rather than threat.", AP reported.

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