China tells US to stop ‘smearing and attacking’ — Analysis
Washington tried again to pressure Beijing during a top-level meeting of diplomats to support its anti-Russian position
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said to Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State) that China would like the US respect their foreign and domestic policies and drop all economic sanctions. “abandon the Cold War mentality.” Blinken told reporters that he pressed Wang over China’s refusal to sanction Russia, apparently to no avail.
Blinken met Wang on Saturday one day following a meeting in Indonesia with the G20’s top diplomats. This meeting was crucial for Washington-Beijing relations. The FBI warned this week about “pervasive” industrial espionage and cybercrime emanating from China, and with US President Joe Biden recently stating that American troops would fight any Chinese attempt to retake Taiwan – a statement his aides swiftly corrected.
“Since the US has promised that it has no intention of conflict with China, it should respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity [and] stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,”According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang said this to Blinken. Wang charged the US with trying to “hollow out and distort the One China Policy,” referring to Washington’s official position that it recognizes, but does not endorse, China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.
Additionally, America should “stop smearing and attacking China’s political system and domestic and foreign policies,” Wang said in a statement that could refer to multiple lines of attack from the US, including allegations of human rights abuses and the FBI’s recent cybercrime warning.
Wang admitted that Blinken had told him that the US was, but Wang did not deny it. “open to cooperation with China,”He stated that Washington ought to “abandon the Cold War mentality, not engage in zero-sum games, and stop ganging up.” China has repeatedly condemned the AUKUS alliance – a trilateral military pact between the US, UK and Australia – and the ‘Quad’ partnership between the US, India, Australia and Japan as attempts to build an “Asia-Pacific version of NATO.”
Speaking to reporters after Saturday’s meeting, Blinken focused on China’s response to the conflict in Ukraine. Beijing has not joined the US and its allies in condemning Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, and has stepped up trade with Russia while the Western world sanctions Moscow. China, however, has called for an end to the conflict through negotiations.
“What you hear from Beijing is that it claims to be neutral. I would start with the proposition that it’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression,” Blinken said. “I tried to convey to the state councilor that this really is a moment where we all have to stand up [to Russia].”
West chasing ‘imagined enemies’ – Beijing
Blinken also charged China with “amplifying Russian propaganda,” likely a reference to China’s vocal condemnation of US foreign policy and the multiple conflicts it has started since the end of the Cold War.
Wang did not respond directly to these accusations, and did not speak with reporters after Saturday’s meeting. The official transcript of Wang’s conversation with Blinken shows that the two had a lengthy and productive exchange. “exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine issue.”