China accused the United States of “demonizing” the country, adopting a confrontational tone when US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visited for rare high-level talks between the two powers.
The number two in US diplomacy arrived in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin on Sunday (25) for meetings with Chinese diplomacy at a time of tension between the two countries, covering issues such as cybersecurity and human rights.
The trip is also seen as a preliminary step towards a possible meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
According to a statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Vice Chancellor Xie Feng told Sherman on Monday (26) that the United States wanted to “rekindle a sense of national purpose by placing China as an imaginary enemy” and mobilize their government to suffocate Beijing.
“The hope may be that by demonizing China, the United States will somehow blame China for its own structural problems,” he said, according to the statement, adding that the Bilateral relations were “stagnant and facing serious difficulties”.
Beijing also presented a list of demands, including the lifting of sanctions against the authorities and visa restrictions for students, as well as an end to the “suppression” of Chinese companies, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. foreign Zhao Lijian to reporters.
He also called for an end to calls for a new investigation into the origins of the coronavirus in China, in a new warning to “stop walking the red lines.”
“We urge the United States to change its wrong mindset and dangerous policy,” the statement added.
Xie said the people of his country view “the antagonistic rhetoric of the United States as a thinly disguised attempt to contain and suppress China.”
Sherman is also expected to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
On Sunday, the diplomat tweeted that she had spoken to American businessmen about “the challenges they face in China” and sent her condolences to the victims of the floods in Henan province.
Last week, the United States said it hoped the talks would show Beijing what “healthy and responsible” competition looks like and that Washington wants to avoid “conflict.”
On the eve of Sherman’s arrival, Chancellor Wang Yi vowed “to teach the United States a lesson in how to treat countries fairly” in anticipation of a tumultuous start to his visit.
“China will not accept the self-proclaimed superiority of any country,” Wang said, quoted in a statement on Saturday (24).
The visit to China was added at the last minute to Sherman’s itinerary during his tour of Asia, which includes stops in Japan, South Korea and Mongolia.
Besides Sherman, John Kerry, Washington’s special climate envoy, was the only senior Biden government official to visit China in April.
The two parties are committed to cooperate on the issue of climate change, despite their multiple differences.
Biden has maintained the firm policy with China adopted by his predecessor, Donald Trump, while Washington seeks to build a united front of “Democratic allies” against Beijing.
Last week, the United States and China traded Washington-initiated sanctions in response to what the United States sees as the crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong.
Washington has also issued a warning to companies operating in Hong Kong about the city’s deteriorating autonomy.
Also last week, the United States condemned large-scale cyber attacks from China.