China-U.S. relations face new uncertainties but with mutual respect for core interests they will remain stable, China's foreign minister said, adding one individual will not impede ties, a likely reference to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
President Xi Jinping spoke with Trump soon after he won last month's election, but Beijing has been unsettled by Trump's subsequent call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, suggestions Trump may change U.S. policy towards self-ruled Taiwan, and Trump's threats to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.
In an interview with the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily carried on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Xi-Trump call was a positive sign for a smooth transition in Sino-U.S. ties.
"Of course, going forward China-U.S. relations will face new complexities and uncertain factors," Wang said.
"But 'thick mountains could not stop the river from flowing into the sea'," he added, quoting an ancient Chinese poem Xi had cited in June at a high-level China-U.S. forum, meaning all rivers have to travel a meandering course before getting to their final destination.