China’s foreign minister defended his country’s position on the turmoil in Ukraine and its close relations to Russia on Tuesday, warning the United States to adjust its “distorted” approach toward China or “conflict and confrontation” will ensue.
Foreign Minister Qin Gang stated at a news conference on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting in Beijing that the U.S. had been stifling and containing China instead of engaging in fair, rule-based competition.
Qin, a dependable assistant to President Xi Jinping and, until recently, China’s ambassador to Washington, said, “The impression and attitudes of the United States of China are gravely distorted.
“China is seen as its main foe and the greatest geopolitical threat by this country. This is comparable to a shirt’s first button being fastened incorrectly.”
Years of disagreements over a variety of topics, including Taiwan, trade, and most recently the conflict in Ukraine, have strained relations between the two superpowers. However, things got worse last month when the US shot down a balloon off the US East Coast that it claimed was a Chinese spy plane.
But, Qin claimed that in reality, what that meant in practice was that China was not expected to retaliate with words or deeds when slandered or assaulted. The U.S. claims it is constructing guardrails for ties and is not seeking war. “It is plain unthinkable,” said Qin at his first press conference after being appointed foreign minister in late December.
With Wang Yi now serving as China’s top diplomat after being appointed director of the Foreign Affairs Commission Office at the beginning of the year, Qin’s remarks echoed the firm tone of his predecessor.
Who will be responsible for the catastrophic repercussions if the United States does not apply the brakes and keeps moving in the wrong direction? “No amount of guardrails can avoid derailment, which will lead to conflict and confrontation.”
U.S. officials frequently discuss putting up barriers in the bilateral relationship to stop tensions from rising to the point of crisis.
Qin compared the Sino-U.S. rivalry to an Olympic race between two competitors.
“This is not fair competition,” he remarked. “If one side, instead of focused on providing one’s best, always attempts to trip the other up, even to the extent that they must enter the Paralympics,” he added.
The globe is becoming more tumultuous, according to Qin, and close exchanges between President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have served to cement relations between the neighbors.
When asked if Xi would visit Russia after China’s parliament session, which will last for one more week, he did not provide a clear response.
Xi has met with Putin three times since Russia invaded its southwest neighbor a year ago, but not with his Ukrainian counterpart. The top Ukrainian diplomat in Beijing stated last month that this calls into question China’s assertion of neutrality in the conflict.
When asked if China and Russia might give up using the US dollar and the euro for bilateral commerce, Qin responded that nations should use whichever currency was effective, secure, and reliable.
China has been working to internationalize the yuan, which became more popular in Russia last year as a result of sanctions imposed by the West that prevented Russian banks and many Russian businesses from using the dollar and euro payment systems.
Currency should not be used as a weapon for unilateral sanctions, much less as a cover for intimidation or coercion, according to Qin.