Chinese Ambassador Says US Must Make a ‘Fundamental Choice’

US and Chinese embassies in Myanmar trade barbs over South China Sea

With tensions between the US and China rapidly increasing by the day, China’s ambassador to the US said Washington must make a “fundamental choice” over its relationship with Beijing.

“I think that the fundamental question for the United States is very simple,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai said in an interview with CNN on Saturday. “Is the United States ready or willing to live with another country with a very different culture, a very different political and economic system … in peace and cooperate on so many and still growing global challenges?”

Cui’s comments come as the Trump administration has taken actions over multiple flashpoints between the two powers, like Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the South China Sea, and trade. The Trump administration is also considering a sweeping travel ban that would target members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families.

On Sunday, China’s embassy in Myanmar responded to allegations against Beijing over the South China Sea. The Chinese embassy said the US is “outrageously smearing” the country and driving a wedge between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors. The embassy said the US was doing “disgusting things” to contain China and has shown a “selfish, hypocritical, contemptible, and ugly face.”

The Chinese embassy was responding to a statement released by the US embassy in Myanmar on Saturday. The US embassy said China’s recent actions in the South China Sea and Hong Kong were part of a “larger pattern to undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors.”

In recent weeks, the US has conducted massive military exercises in the South China Sea, including twice sending two aircraft carrier strike forces into the contested waters.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.