Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Hungarian counterpart on Monday that decoupling with the US was “unfeasible and unreasonable” and called on Europe to resist “unilateral bullying”.
Wang made the remarks during a meeting in southern China with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto before leaving on a week-long visit to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany.
In his first trip abroad since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Wang is expected to appeal to European leaders to remain open to Chinese firms as the US ramps up pressure on tech and communications companies like TikTok and Huawei.
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Wang said China and Europe should not allow talk of decoupling to disturb the regular operation of global industrial chains, adding that the continent should push back against unilateral bullying in the economy.
“As independent countries, of course we must protect our economic sovereignty, including digital network sovereignty, but this does not mean we should close off our markets to one another,” said Wang, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.
Wang praised Hungary’s assertion that Huawei’s 5G network posed no national security threat. In early August, Washington issued sanctions against Huawei that analysts say may cripple the company, claiming the world’s leading 5G provider could be used by Beijing to spy on other countries.
In talks held in the port city of Beihai, in the southern region of Guangxi, Wang said China and Hungary would push forward cooperation in eastern Europe on the Belt and Road Initiative. He also vowed to stand for multilateralism in the face of “the constant challenge of unilateralism against the international order”.
Wang said American efforts to decouple from China went against market norms, and against the interest of companies, which would “boomerang” back to hurt the United States.
“The so-called ‘decoupling’ argument is unfeasible and unreasonable,” Wang said. “It is a dead-end doomed to go nowhere.
“Any attempt to decouple from China is to decouple from the future largest economy in the world.”
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese counterpart Liu He held a phone conversation on Tuesday morning and agreed to continue to implement the phase one trade deal signed in January, which binds China to buying an additional US$77 billion worth of goods from the US this year compared with 2017 levels.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Is Donald Trump bluffing about starting a financial war with China? Chinese officials aren’t so sure
- ‘Damage control’ at heart of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s mission to Europe
This article Chinese foreign minister says US decoupling doomed to fail first appeared on South China Morning Post