China’s new ambassador to the US on Wednesday said Washington’s confrontational approach to Beijing undermines China’s efforts at fostering cooperation between the two powers.
“Competition on the US side often takes the form of confrontation, especially on major issues concerning China’s core interests,” Ambassador Qin Gang told a virtual event hosted by the George HW Bush China Foundation and the Carter Center. “If this does not change, it will undermine China’s efforts to promote our mutual trust and cooperation.”
Qin, who took the post in Washington in July, said China is open to honest criticism but rejects baseless claims. “We do not accept baseless slander and disinformation. We do not accept condescending lecturing. And we do not accept words or deeds that undermine China’s sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity,” he said.
US officials are constantly hurling accusations at China. In March, at a tense high-level meeting between US and Chinese officials in Alaska, Secretary of State Antony Blinken opened the talks by accusing China of threatening the so-called “rules-based order,” setting a hostile tone.
Little was accomplished during the Alaska talks, and since then, Chinese diplomats have been less reserved in their criticism of the US. But overall, Beijing’s diplomatic message in Washington is one for better relations. Earlier this month, Qin delivered a speech with the message that China is “not the Soviet Union” where he said the US and China should be partners, not enemies.
On Tuesday, President Biden addressed the UN General Assembly and claimed the US is not seeking a “Cold War” with China. But Biden is building military alliances against Beijing and has previously said the US and China are in a competition to “win the 21st century.”