The top Chinese envoy to Washington has said China-US relations are in “severe difficulties” and require an urgent injection of goodwill rather than attempts to incite confrontation.
In a speech during a virtual ceremony on Thursday to mark China’s National Day, Cui Tiankai said China was firmly opposed to a new cold war or decoupling, and Beijing was committed to building stable ties with Washington.
“Indeed, the China-US relationship is experiencing severe difficulties rarely seen in the past 41 years of diplomatic ties,” Cui said.
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“Some people attempt to write off the hard-won achievements in China-US relations, stoke up decoupling and incite ideological confrontation and a new cold war.
“This has seriously undermined the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people.”
He said China was not seeking hegemony, nor expanding its sphere of influence.
“We have no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot war with any country,” he said. “We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.
“We are willing to develop our relations with the US with goodwill and sincerity, and the two countries should lose no time in taking bilateral relations onto the right track of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
Cui’s comments come as relations with Washington are at their lowest point in decades in the run-up to the US presidential election on November 3. The two nations have clashed on issues covering almost every aspect of their relationship, including trade, technology, security and the coronavirus pandemic.
In an address to the UN General Assembly last week, US President Donald Trump demanded China be held accountable for the pandemic, while Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping called for better cooperation in battling the virus and stressed that Beijing did not seek “either a cold war or a hot war with any country”.
Trump also used Tuesday’s first pre-election television debate to blame China for his country’s economic woes, saying the “China plague” had forced the US to close down its economy.
But Cui described the pandemic in his speech as a global challenge that “cannot be solved by the traditional toolbox of great power competition”.
“Obsession with the cold war mentality and ideological confrontation will lead nowhere,” he said. “Strengthening international coordination and cooperation, and reforming and improving international governance, is the only right path forward.
“More than ever before, we should put people and life before everything else, follow the guidance of science and show the goodwill and wisdom for solidarity and coordination.”
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This article China-US decoupling, ideological hatred hurts both sides: Beijing’s top envoy first appeared on South China Morning Post