If they don’t change course, we will inevitably head to conflict – China warns US
China warned Washington that confrontation and conflict with the United States are inevitable if Washington doesn’t change its course.
China’s new Foreign Ministry Qin Gang, who was the most recently appointed China ambassador to the US on Tuesday, March 6th, took a much more aggressive tone at his first appearance as a foreign secretary at China’s annual legislative meeting. He warned of the “catastrophic consequence” of Washington’s “reckless gamble” in its treatment of a superpower.
“If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” Qin said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress on Beijing.
The highly-scripted event saw Qin set the tone of China’s foreign policies for 2023 and beyond. She blasted the US for increasing bilateral tensions and defended Beijing’s close partnership with Moscow.
The US and China have been at the worst of their relations in decades. Tensions rose further after a Chinese spy balloon flew over North America, which was then shot down and destroyed by US fighter jets.
On Tuesday, Qin accused the US of overreacting in its response, which he said created “a diplomatic crisis that could have been avoided.”
The incident, Qin said, shows “the US perception and views of China are seriously distorted. It regards China as its primary rival and the biggest geopolitical challenge.”
“The US claims it seeks to compete with China but does not seek conflict. But in reality, the so-called ‘competition’ by the US is all-around containment and suppression, a zero-sum game of life and death,” he said.
“Containment and suppression will not make America great, and the US will not stop the rejuvenation of China,” Qin said.
Under leader Xi Jinping, China has become increasingly authoritarian at home and assertive abroad, taking a more aggressive approach to exert its influence and counter the West but Washington has pushed back.
Under the Biden administration, the US has shored up ties with allies and partners to contain Beijing’s rising influence, including in its backyard.
It also banned the export of advanced chips to China.
Qin lashed out at Washington for its Indo-Pacific strategy, accusing it of forming exclusive blocks to provoke a confrontation, advocating for decoupling and plotting an “Asia-Pacific version of NATO.”
“The real purpose of the Indo-Pacific strategy is to contain China,” Qin said. “No Cold War should be repeated in Asia, and no Ukraine-style crisis should be repeated in Asia.”
On Tuesday Qin said the Sino-Russian relationship “does not pose a threat to any country in the world, nor will it be interfered or sowed discord in by any third party.”
“The more unstable the world becomes, the more imperative it is for China and Russia to steadily advance their relations,” he said.
Qin highlighted the issue of Taiwan as the “bedrock of the political foundation of Sino-US relations and the first red line that must not be crossed.”
The Chinese Communist Party claims the self-governing democracy of Taiwan as part of its territory, despite having never controlled it, and refuses to rule out the use of force to “reunify” it with mainland China.
On Tuesday, Qin urged the US not to “interfere in China’s internal affairs” and questioned Washington’s different responses to the issues of Ukraine and Taiwan.
“Why does the US talk up respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Ukraine issue, but does not respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the issue of Taiwan? Why does the US ask China not to provide weapons to Russia while keeps selling arms to Taiwan?” Qin said.