China’s foreign minister accuses US of devising tactics to suppress China

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  • China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has criticized the U.S. for what he sees as efforts to suppress China’s rise.
  • Despite improvements in U.S.-China relations since the meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden, Wang said that America has not fulfilled its promises.
  • Wang also demanded that members of the U.N. Security Council stop blocking Palestine from becoming a member of the United Nations.

China’s foreign minister accused the U.S. on Thursday of devising tactics to suppress China’s rise and criticized the Biden administration for adding more Chinese companies to its sanctions lists.

Wang Yi, speaking to media during the annual meeting of China’s legislature, said China’s relations with the U.S. have improved since Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden met in November, but America has not fulfilled its promises.

“If the U.S. always says one thing and does another, where is its credibility as a major power? If the U.S. gets nervous and anxious when it hears the word ‘China,’ where is its confidence as a major power?” he said. “If the U.S. is obsessed with suppressing China, it will eventually harm itself.”

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Wang also demanded that members of the U.N. Security Council stop blocking Palestine from becoming a member of the United Nations.

The 70-year-old veteran diplomat, who has earned Xi’s trust, returned to the foreign minister’s post last summer after his successor, Qin Gang, was abruptly dismissed without explanation after a half year on the job. Wang is also the ruling Communist Party’s top foreign affairs official, a more senior position that he moved to when Qin became foreign minister at the end of 2022.

Analysts had speculated the Communist Party might use the weeklong meeting of the National People’s Congress to name a new foreign minister, but that appeared off the table after an agenda released on the eve of the opening session did not include personnel changes.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Jun, said during a Security Council debate in January that China supports Palestine becoming a full member as soon as possible, as a first step toward creating a Palestinian state, according to Chinese media reports.

Wang called Thursday for a major international conference to draw up a roadmap and timetable for a two-state solution. “We support Palestine becoming a full member of the United Nations and call on individual members of the Security Council not to set obstacles for this any more,” he said.

TAIWAN AND SOUTH CHINA SEA

He accused the United States, without mentioning it by name, of stirring up trouble in Taiwan and the South China Sea. China says that self-governing Taiwan is part of China and should be under its control, and it claims a wide swath of the South China Sea, putting it at odds with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian neighbors.

The Philippines and the U.S. have accused China of aggressive tactics in trying to block Philippines ships from reaching reefs and other outcroppings that both sides claim, most recently in a collision between coast guard vessels of both countries this week.

“For unreasonable provocations, we will take just countermeasures,” Wang said. “We also advise certain countries outside the region not to stir up trouble, choose sides, and not to become disruptors and troublemakers in the South China Sea.”

He said countries that insist on maintaining official ties with Taiwan are interfering in China’s domestic affairs. Most countries, including the United States, don’t have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but China objects to visits by U.S. lawmakers to the island and U.S. sales of military equipment for its defense.

China will continue to work for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, Wang said, but warned that anyone who supports independence for Taiwan would pay a price. Most Taiwanese prefer to remain separate from China without antagonizing it. They fear Chinese rule could endanger their freedoms and democracy, particularly after China’s crackdown on Hong Kong.

“Our bottom line is also very clear,” Wang said. “That is Taiwan will never be allowed to split from the motherland.”

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR

Wang praised China’s growing ties with Russia, noting that trade between the two reached $240 billion last year, beating a target to hit $200 billion by the end of 2024.

The U.S. and EU say that China is giving Russia an economic lifeline at a time when they are trying to pressure its government with sanctions over its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which sparked a devastating war that has continued for more than two years.

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“Russian natural gas has entered thousands of households in China, and Chinese cars are driving in the streets of Russia, which fully demonstrates the strong resilience and broad prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation,” Wang said.

Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, told a Chinese diplomat the country should not provide political, economic and military support to Russia, a Polish government statement said. Bartoszewski made the comment at a meeting on Wednesday with a Chinese diplomatic envoy, Li Hui, who is is visiting several European countries this week for talks on the conflict.

The U.S. and EU expanded sanctions on companies and individuals from China and several other countries two weeks ago for allegedly aiding Russia’s war effort.

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