'China should put own interests first'
Beijing - China should put its own interests above international relations, the state-run Global Times said on Wednesday, during a closely watched visit to the United States by the country's leader-in-waiting.
The visit by Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to take command of China in a leadership transition starting this year, comes as Beijing faces international criticism for vetoing a UN resolution condemning violence in Syria, and for its human rights record.
But an editorial in the Global Times, which is known for its nationalistic stance, said the Asian power "does not need to satisfy the West at the expense of its own interests".
"China should adjust its thinking on what are 'good' relations. No matter whether Sino-US relations or Sino-European relations, the more favourable they are to China's national interests, the better," it said.
"To China, the US and Europe are important.... But China should view itself as the highest priority. This does not mean China should be arrogant, but rather ensure that it receives equal treatment from other countries through diplomacy."
Xi's US visit, which began on Monday, has dominated the Chinese media in recent days as the country prepares for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition that begins later this year.
He was given a 19-gun salute with booming cannons at the Pentagon during his visit - a rare honour for a mere vice president, reflecting the importance Washington places in its relationship with Beijing.
But US politicians have not held back from raising complaints about Beijing's currency value, saying it is kept artificially low to boost exports, or over human rights, including the communist state's growing detentions of critics.