The Chinese ambassador to the US spoke at a virtual event on Thursday commemorating China’s National Day and took the opportunity to call for better US-China relations.
“The China-US relationship is experiencing severe difficulties rarely seen in the past 41 years of diplomatic ties,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai said. Cui said there are people pushing for the economic decoupling of the two countries that are inciting “ideological confrontation and a new Cold War.”
“This seriously undermines the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people … We believe that a sound and stable China-US relationship is in the interests of both countries,” Cui said.
The ambassador’s comments are drastically different than the hostile rhetoric coming from the Trump administration. President Trump has taken an increasingly aggressive stance towards China over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at the 75th UN General Assembly last week, Trump said China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” coronavirus on the world.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been on a crusade against China, taking every opportunity he can to rail against Beijing. In a speech last week, Pompeo told state and city lawmakers to be suspicious of Chinese diplomats. “Know that when you are approached by a Chinese diplomat, it is likely not in the spirit of cooperation or friendship,” he said.
Ambassador Cui said the two countries need to quickly reconcile their differences and get the relationship on the right track. “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 said.