China accused the United States of stoking tensions between the two powers and warned of the risk of “confrontation” if Washington did nothing about the “hysterical neo-McCarthyism” directed against Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned Washington on March 7 about its approach to the Sino-US relationship. “If the United States continues to go down the wrong path and does not slow down, no safeguard can prevent the derailment (of relations)”, launched the minister, who spoke on the sidelines of the annual session of Parliament.
If that happens, “there will inevitably be conflict and confrontation,” Qin Gang added, wondering, “Who will bear the catastrophic consequences?”
The day before, President Xi Jinping had deplored the “containment” and “repression” of Westerners targeting China, quoting the United States by name and calling on the private sector to innovate more to make his country less dependent on foreign countries.
Beijing’s high-tech ambitions are under increasing restraint from Washington and its allies, prompting Chinese companies to redouble their efforts to dispense with crucial imports.
China and the United States are notably engaged in a fierce battle for the manufacture of semiconductors, these electronic components essential to the operation of smartphones, connected cars but also military equipment.
In the name of national security, Washington has in recent months stepped up sanctions against Chinese chipmakers, now hampered from sourcing American technology. “The uncertain and unpredictable factors have increased significantly” for China, Xi Jinping said according to an account by the China News News Agency published on March 6.
“Western countries, led by the United States, have implemented a policy of containment, encirclement and suppression against China, which has brought unprecedented challenges to our country’s development,” he said. he added in an unusual direct criticism of Washington.
The 69-year-old leader, who will get an unprecedented third presidential term in a few days, spoke to members of an advisory committee during the annual session of the Chinese Parliament.
“Faced with profound and complex changes internationally as in China, it is necessary to remain calm, concentrated (…) to act proactively, to show unity and to dare to fight” to succeed, has said Xi Jinping.
Questioned on March 7, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, also deplored the current state of Sino-American relations. “I just think that what determines China-US relations should be common interests, common responsibilities and friendship between the two peoples (and not) US domestic politics and this kind of hysterical neo-McCarthyism” , underlined Qin Gang, in reference to the repeated criticisms of the American political class against his country.
Until recently ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang also deplored recent accusations by some Western countries claiming, without proof, that China intends to supply weapons to Russia for its war against Ukraine.
The minister said Beijing would not accept “sanctions” or “threats” from Washington and its allies.
In late February, China issued a 12-point document urging Moscow and kyiv to hold peace talks. The text also calls for respecting the territorial integrity of all countries – also implying that of Ukraine, part of whose territory is under Russian control.
Cautiously hailed by kyiv and warmly welcomed by Moscow, this Chinese document had aroused more skepticism on the Western side, which reproaches Beijing for never having publicly condemned Moscow.
Qin Gang said that China was “neither the cause of the crisis, nor a party, and it has not provided arms to any of the parties”, calling for the start of peace talks “as soon as possible. as possible”. The Beijing-Moscow relationship does not pose “a threat to any country in the world”, he stressed.
Disputes between Beijing and Washington have multiplied in recent years: the status of Taiwan, tensions in the South China Sea, imbalance in the trade balance or even the treatment of Uyghur Muslims.
Last month, the United States’ downing of a Chinese balloon further strained relations, with the Biden administration accusing the craft of spying on its territory, which China strongly denies.