– Beijing warns Washington of “serious difficulties”
The exchange during the high-level visit so far of the representative of the Joe Biden government in China turned out to be difficult.
The Chinese government has accused the United States of China’s “highly misleading” policy and warned of “serious difficulties” in future bilateral relations. During US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said relations between Beijing and Washington had “reached a dead end”. The United States must end the “demonization” of China.
With Sherman, the highest-ranking representative of the administration of President Joe Biden in the United States so far is visiting the People’s Republic of China. The State Department said last week that Sherman wants to address issues of conflict during her stay. However, it should be avoided that relations with China lead to “conflict.”
Preparing for the summit?
The visit is widely interpreted as preparations for a possible summit meeting between Biden and his Chinese colleague, Xi Jinping. The tone of voice between the two governments has intensified over the past few weeks.
The banners clearly indicated a confrontation at Sherman’s reception by Deputy Foreign Minister Xie. Xie said the United States views China as an “imaginary enemy,” according to a statement from his department. The US may have hoped that the “demonization of China” would allow Beijing to take responsibility for its own “structural problems”. “We urge the United States to change its highly misleading mentality and dangerous policies.”
Hostile rhetoric to the United States
Xie said the Chinese see the United States’ “hostile rhetoric” against Beijing as a “badly disguised attempt to contain and suppress China.” The sharp remarks are reminiscent of the exchange of blows between China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on the sidelines of the G7 summit in March.
Sherman arrived in Tianjin on Sunday after visiting Asian American partners. The deputy secretary of state is the second high-ranking US representative to travel to China since Biden took office, after US climate envoy John Kerry.
At the beginning of her visit to China, the chief diplomat wrote on the online service Twitter that she had spoken to representatives of American companies about the “difficulties” in China. She expressed her “deep sympathy” to those affected by the devastating floods in central China’s Henan Province. A meeting between Sherman and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is also scheduled.
Yi announced Saturday that he wants to “teach the United States a lesson” with the goal of treating other countries as equals. “China will not accept the unilaterally declared superiority of another country,” the ministry quoted him as saying.
Relations between Beijing and Washington are very tense. Controversial topics include China’s actions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the way authorities treat Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. The US claim that China was responsible for a large-scale hacker attack on US software company Microsoft has caused new tensions between the two countries. Beijing denies the allegations as politically motivated and “fabricated”.