The blame for pushing the bilateral relationship between the United States and China to its lowest point in decades was squarely put on Washington by China’s top diplomat in his first phone call with new United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The diplomat also strongly rejected criticism of China’s policy and measures in its Xinjiang province and in Hong Kong.
According to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during their Friday call, Blinken was told by Yang Jiechi, the top foreign policy aide to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, that the US should “correct recent mistakes, and work with China to promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations by upholding the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation”.
The statement said that the core interest of each country, as well as political systems and developmental paths of their own choosing, should be respected by both sides, Yang reportedly emphasized.
“Each side should focus on taking care of its own domestic affairs. China will firmly continue down the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and no one can stop the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Yang said.
With spats related to area of trade, technology, regional security and human rights, the relationship between Washington and Beijing had often been confrontational under the former US President Donald Trump.
And the US administration under the new president Joe Biden will likely make little changes to the current China policy of the US, according to recent statements from the new Biden administration. HCina was described by Biden in a speech on Thursday as the US’ “most serious competitor” as he also outlined plans to challenge Beijing’s “attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance.”
According to the Chinese statement, several major sources of continued tension between the two countries, including Taiwan were highlighted by Yang during the phone call on Friday.
The Chinese statement further said that issues relating to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are China’s internal affairs and Beijing will not accept or tolerate any external interference, Yang also reportedly warned Blinken.
China was accused by the Trump administration of committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims and ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. Blinken has said that he agreed with that conclusion of the Trump administration.
According to previous estimates of the US State Department, as many as two million Uyghurs as well as people of other Muslim minority groups have been forcibly detained in a large network of internment camps in the Xinjiang province of China which the Chinese government describes a training camps.
The US would continue to support the cause of human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, while also urging China to join the international community to condemn the military coup in Myanmar, Blinken reportedly stressed in the call according to a readout of Friday’s call provided by the US State Department.
Further, the US will also take the help of its allies and partners to make China accountable for its “efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait,” Blinken also reaffirmed according to the US statement.
(Adapted from CNN.com)