China does not want a full confrontation with the US and seeks a bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation, the country’s top diplomat said on Thursday.
Addressing the China-US Think Tanks Media Forum, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing and Washington’s relations are “faced with the most severe challenge since the establishment of diplomatic ties,” state-run daily Global Times reported.
China says no intentions of becoming an adversary of the US
He said certain quarters in the US were trying “to portray China as an adversary, and even an enemy.”
China-US relations, one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world, is faced with the most severe challenge since the establishment of diplomatic ties.— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) July 9, 2020
“I’d like to stress here again that China never intends to challenge or replace the US, or have full confrontation with the US,” he said, adding that Beijing wants a relationship “featuring no conflict and confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
The minister’s remarks come at a time of increasingly fraught relations between the two major world powers.
They remain embroiled in a bitter trade row since 2018, and diplomatic relations have hit a new low amid accusations over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the unrest in China’s special administrative region Hong Kong.
Wang said getting China-US relations back on track was important for the “future of the world and humanity,” and urged Washington to “immediately stop its acts of politicization and stigmatization.”
“China’s US policy remains unchanged. We are still willing to grow China-US relations with goodwill and sincerity,” he said, stressing that the two “should not seek to remodel each other.”
China is not another US in the making
The minister asserted that China will never behave like the US in terms of foreign policy.
Chi FM Wang Yi:
"Unilateralism and bullying are forcing their way in the world."
"Aggression and expansion are never in the genes of the Chinese nation throughout its 5,000 years of history."
“Aggression and expansion are never in the genes of the Chinese nation throughout its 5,000 years of history,” Wang said.
China does not replicate any model of other countries, nor does it export its own to others.
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) July 9, 2020
“China does not replicate any model of other countries, nor does it export its own to others. We never ask other countries to copy what we do.”
On the worsening COVID-19 situation in the US, he said Beijing was willing to extend all possible help to Washington “on diagnostics and therapeutics, vaccines, and economic recovery.”
“China is ready to share with the US information about COVID-19 prevention and containment as well as our response experience,” he said.
Wang put forward three suggestions to improve bilateral ties: activating all channels of dialogue, identifying areas of cooperation and existing issues, and focusing on a joint response to the virus pandemic.
“I hope the US will develop more objective and cool-headed perceptions about China, and a more rational and pragmatic China policy,” he concluded.
UAE minister: China-US relations concern the globe
The UAE is not alone in its concerns about the “hostile confrontation” between the U.S. and China, the Gulf country’s minister of state for foreign affairs told CNBC Wednesday.
“Every time we see confrontation between Washington and Beijing, the markets actually tremble,” Anwar Gargash told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi.
“And clearly I would say that competition between these two giants will continue, and to a certain extent, it will be natural. But I think we have an interest that this competition is more nuanced, and that it, at the same time, does not shake what is already a very weak international system.”
Trade between the U.S. and China is of great importance to the global economy, from international supply chains and economic growth to the costs of basic goods.
“I would say that the UAE’s concern over this hostile confrontation is a global concern. And we’re not alone here,” Gargash said.
“Almost everybody has huge financial, investment and trade relations with China. Like many, many countries in the world, we all recognize that America has the largest network of allies in the world and we consider ourselves an important ally of the United States. So clearly we see this confrontation, and it worries us. We would like to see a more cooperative relationship between Washington and Beijing.”
But the minister was sober about the challenges ahead.
“We will have to balance and manage, and it is very difficult. I would say right now, perhaps we are managing — like many other countries, but more and more, we look at that and see this will be a major, major issue.”
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk