China tells US not to interfere in its ‘internal affairs’ to restore ties

Shanghai, China, Feb 2 (efe-epa).- China’s top foreign policy adviser urged the new United States administration on Tuesday to “stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang” and work to restore bilateral ties to a “predictable and constructive track of development.”

In a conversation via videolink with board members of the National Committee on US-China Relations, Yang Jiechi urged Washington to “stop attempts to hold back China’s development by meddling in China’s internal affairs.”

“We in China hope that the US side will fully understand the sensitivity of these issues and handle them with prudence, so as to avoid disruption or damage to mutual trust and cooperation,” he added.

These remarks by the top diplomat of the Communist Party of China, who was the country’s foreign minister between 2007 and 2013, come only a few days after the new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken aligned himself with the position of his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, who termed Beijing’s repression of the Uighur minority in the northwestern region of Xinjiang as “genocide.”

Yang said on Tuesday that China “never meddles in the internal affairs of the United States” nor “seeks ideological confrontation.”

According to Yang, the administration of former President Donald Trump “adopted misguided policies against China, plunging the relationship into its most difficult period since the establishment of diplomatic ties” in 1979.

“The root cause, I would say, is a strategic misjudgment by some in the United States – they view China as a major strategic competitor, even an adversary,” he elaborated.

The Chinese official hoped that the US “will rise above the outdated mentality of zero-sum, major-power rivalry and work with China at a time when bilateral relations “stand at a key moment and face new opportunities and new challenges.”

Yang, who is the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, asserted that countries around the were watching how China and the US would work to “restore the relationship to a predictable and constructive track of development” and to build a model of interaction focused on “peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.”

In order to do this, Yang said, not only will “normal interactions need to be restored” but Washington will also have to end measure that are “not only wrong but also unpopular” such as restrictions on Chinese media outlets and the closure of Confucius Institutes – the state-owned cultural and linguistic outreach agency – in the United States as well as sanctions on Chinese companies.

“On trade, China emphasizes that trade issues should not be politicized, and the concept of ‘national security’ should not be abused,” Yang said.

Towards the end of his speech, Yang expressed optimism in the “bright” future of China-US relations and stressed on the need to “respect each other, seek common ground while putting aside differences, keep disagreements under effective control, and expand common interests” in order to “embark on a path of improvement and development.” EFE-EPA


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