US should stop undermining China's interests under guise of 'competition': Chinese FM
Published: Jun 16, 2023 08:14 PM
China US Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US needs to give up the illusion of dealing with China "from a position of strength," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday, urging Washington to stop undermining China's sovereignty, security and development interests under the guise of "competition."

China views and handles its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, Wang said at Friday's routine press briefing.

It is hoped that the US will take practical actions to implement the important consensus reached by the two countries' heads of state in Bali and US commitments, meet China halfway to effectively manage differences, promote communication and cooperation, and reverse the downward spiral of bilateral relations and bring it back to stabilize, Wang noted.

The remarks came in response to a question on former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's call on Washington and Beijing to step back from their stand-off, which he said is at "the top of a precipice."

Kissinger made one of his most downbeat about the state of relations between China and the US, as he looked back on his life and career soon after his 100th birthday, and also warned of a military conflict across the Taiwan Straits.

Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday that it is the US' fortune to have Kissinger, a thinker and former politician who has witnessed World War II and the Cold War.

The current tension, if escalates, will become a crisis of the US, of the west Pacific, and of the entire world, Lü said, as China-US relations have become one of the top global issues.

Relations need decades to build up, and can be ruined overnight. Kissinger knew how difficult it was for China and the US to start engagement and it is important to maintain such engagement and have effective, meaningful crisis management to avoid a disastrous scenario neither side is willing to see, analysts said.

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken departs on Friday for a long-awaited China visit, both countries held relatively "low but realistic" expectations for the interaction.

"Low expectation does not mean little effort," Lü stressed. "China has been continuously emphasizing 'meeting halfway' with the US on improving relationship as China's effort alone can hardly yield results."

Both China and the US should correctly view each other's domestic and foreign policies and strategic intentions, Wang said on Friday in response to a question about the agenda of Blinken's visit.

The US views China as its "primary rival" and "the most consequential geopolitical challenge". This is a major strategic misjudgment.

There is competition between the two countries in areas such as economy and trade, but there should be no vicious zero-sum competition. Still less should there be practices to contain or suppress one another in the name of competition and deprive China of its legitimate right to development. This is not "responsible competition", but irresponsible bullying. It will only push the two countries towards confrontation and create a divided world, Wang said.

The US keeps emphasizing the need for dialogue and communication and building guardrails and putting a floor under China-US relations. China's door to dialogue and communication is open. The communication between the two countries has never stopped. Communication needs to address the concerns of both sides. They need to serve an actual purpose and help provide solutions. What is unacceptable is to ask for communication and meanwhile damage the other side's interests. One can't say one thing and do another, the spokesperson said.