With just hours to go until the first US presidential debate, China has warned American politicians not to use the “China problem [to] create drama”.
“It is already an expected plot that the US presidential election will create talks about a ‘China threat’ in order to emphasise the need to ‘protect US benefits’. It has been so since the Cold War ended,” said a commentary published by Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily on Tuesday.
“Some US politicians in office have shockingly expressed their hopes for clashes. They have put up a show to shift the focus and make conflicts [that the country faces] look like an external issue,” the commentary said without naming the administration of US President Donald Trump.
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“This is not only unhelpful in solving the systemic risks that the US society is facing, but also creates destruction in the arena of international relations.”
The commentary was published before the first of three live debates between Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden is expected to take place.
Trump and Biden have accused each other of being weak on China. Both presidential hopefuls have promised to have adversarial China policies if elected, their pledges coming at a time when bilateral relations are already fraught on many fronts, including trade, technology, military and human rights.
“China will not give up its own benefits to play the game of the US elections; US politicians should stop dragging China in to their domestic issues,” the commentary said.
Tensions between both governments have been escalating in recent months with frequent muscle-flexing through military drills and patrols through disputed areas such as the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
Without naming the US, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said told a forum in Beijing on Monday that “some certain country turned the solemn international venue of the UN into a performance space for serving their own politics and self-interest”.
Wang repeated Beijing’s rhetoric that it was opposed to unilateralism and protectionism and warned that “those who think they can destroy international order with a big fist will be abandoned by the times”.
The US has criticised China’s handling of the epidemic, including accusing Beijing of suppressing news of the disease when it first emerged last year and initially playing down the risk of transmission. Beijing has denied the allegations.
While Beijing has repeatedly said many of the recent moves from the Trump administration were motivated by the election, experts have said neither Trump nor Biden is likely to be eager to hit the reset button on tensions with Beijing after the election on November 3.
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This article Keep China out of US presidential election drama, Beijing tells Trump, Biden first appeared on South China Morning Post