Chinese FM urges Washington to avoid picking ‘wrong fight,’ offers path for China-US ties

By Zhang Hui and Xie Wenting Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/25 21:43:40

Urges Washington to avoid picking ‘wrong fight’

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a keynote speech on Sino-US relations during a dinner in New York on September 24 co-hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council, US Chamber of Commerce, and Council on Foreign Relations. Photos: Li Liang/People's Daily

China's top diplomat hit back at US criticism of China on issues like bilateral relations, trade and China's policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang on Tuesday, pointing right direction for China-US ties and urging the US to avoid picking another wrong fight with the wrong country.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in a keynote speech in New York on Tuesday at a dinner hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council, US Chamber of Commerce and Council on Foreign Relations. 

Wang said given the size of the economies and the level of interdependence of the two countries, the so-called decoupling is like an attempt to build castles in the air and is neither sensible nor realistic. 

China-US relations have once again reached a crossroads this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations. 

Some in the US are hyping the so-called "shift of international power," as they worry that China will challenge and unseat the US from its role in the world, but Wang said that this is a strategic misjudgment about China, and also reflects a lack of self-confidence. 

"Seeking hegemony has never been in the Chinese DNA. China has no intention of playing a 'game of thrones' on the world stage," Wang said. 

On the claim that US policy has failed to change China and that it's time to revert to a containment policy, Wang said that the idea of molding others according to one's wish is wrong and will never work. Seventy years on, it is important for the US to avoid picking another wrong fight with the wrong country, he said. 

Wang said China-US relations cannot be dominated by confrontations and conflicts, and mutually beneficial cooperation is the only right option for China and the US. Neither country has taken advantage of the other. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times that Wang's speech has confronted recent US criticism of China, and clarified the improper and radical opinions of some Americans on China and China-US relations. 

Wang's speech also exposed US lies behind those views and showed that China-US relations are based on mutual benefit and win-win, Li said. 

China and China-US relations have been negatively and radically defined by some US politicians who think the bilateral ties are a zero-sum game where one's gain is another's loss, and Wang told the US that China's view in bilateral ties is balanced, and that China believes in cooperation, stability and coordination, Li said. 

Wang spoke after US President Donald Trump's speech on China's trade practices at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. He said that he would not accept a "bad deal" in US-China trade negotiations.

Wang said the unilateral US decision to start a trade war is the wrong prescription, as the conflict between countries should be solved by strengthening global governance and dialogue. 

Trade negotiations cannot be carried out under threats and at the expense of China's legitimate right to development, Wang warned.

He said while China is further opening to the US and the rest of the world, China expects the US to do the same for China and remove all unreasonable restrictions.

Wang also slammed Western countries' accusations of China's Xinjiang and Hong Kong policies, calling on the US to truly respect China's sovereignty and not to interfere in China's internal affairs. 

The truth is the measures taken in Xinjiang have a clear-cut purpose of preventing extremism and terrorism at their root, and these measures are consistent with Chinese law and the common approaches advocated by the global community, Wang said. He said rumors find no market among the fair-minded and pale in the face of facts.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson slammed the US' groundless accusations of China's Xinjiang policies for the last few days during routine press conferences since September 18. 

The root of the turbulence in China-US relations lies in the US, as it has never given up its Cold War mentality and zero-sum mindset in its China policy, Li said. 

Experts believe that the obstacles in China-US relations, such as issues on the trade war, South China Sea, Taiwan and human rights were created by the US which cannot accept that China, as a country so different from the US in the development path, has gained in international influence and challenged the American-led world order.  

Wang said China's achievements in reform and opening-up should not be deliberately ignored or obliterated, and it cannot be denied that China's development has greatly benefitted the world, including the US. 

Xie Wenting contributed to this story
Newspaper headline: FM offers path to China-US ties

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