Sunday , April 2 2023

China warns of ‘conflict’ if US stays on path of confrontation


BEIJING: China’s foreign minister Qin Gang has blamed the United States for rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, warning that no number of preventive measures could avert a confrontation if the US does not change paths.

The US had engaged in suppression and containment of China rather than fair competition, and such provocation could not be tolerated indefinitely, Qin told reporters at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting.

“The United States’ perception and views of China are seriously distorted,” Qin said, adding that Washington “regards China as its primary rival and the most consequential geopolitical challenge.”

The US, he continued, always talks about a rule-based world order but then does not follow those rules, he said, using the example of two athletes competing in a race where “one side, instead of focusing on giving one’s best, always tries to trip” up the other runner.

“That is not fair competition, but malicious confrontation and a foul,” he said.

The foreign minister also noted that the US says it is establishing protective barriers to ensure there is no conflict with China, but in practice, this means that Beijing is not supposed to respond with words or actions when slandered or attacked, he said.

“That is just impossible,” Qin said.

“If the United States does not hit the brake, and continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailment, which will become conflict and confrontation and who will bear the catastrophic consequences?”

The foreign minister’s comments came after China’s President Xi Jinping condemned what he described as the US-led “suppression of China” in a speech to delegates on Monday attending China’s annual parliamentary session.

“Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development,” Xi said, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported late Monday.

Xi said that China must “have the courage to fight as the country faces profound and complex changes in both the domestic and international landscape”, according to a readout of the speech to delegates.

Ties between Beijing and Washington have become increasingly tense in recent years over trade, human rights and Taiwan. (Int’l News Desk)

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