China urges US to be ‘pragmatic’ in promoting bilateral ties

Beijing, Feb 8 (EFE).- The Chinese government encouraged the United States on Wednesday to retain an “objective and rational” view of China amid escalating tensions between the two world powers.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mao Ning made the statement during a press conference in reaction to US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in which he stated that Washington “seeks competition, not conflict” with China.

Biden stated his intention to engage with China “where it can advance American interests and benefit the world.”

Mao said the US must refrain from looking at all Sino-US relations through the prism of competition alone.

She said China would maintain a policy based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and cooperation with the US, without compromising on its sovereignty, security, and development interests.

“We urge the US to maintain an objective and rational perception (of China) and a more active and pragmatic policy towards China,” the spokesperson said.

She said China would not shy away from competition but was against defining the ties with competition alone and using it as an excuse to smear others.

“The US must also not use competition to stifle China’s legitimate development rights or harm global supply chains,” said the Chinese diplomat in response to a question about Biden’s address.

Biden said he committed to working with China to advance American interests and benefit the world. “But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.”

Mao reiterated that “the use of force to attack a Chinese civilian aircraft is unacceptable and irresponsible.”

She was asked about the recent episode of the alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US and has sparked a new diplomatic row.

“Exaggerating and hyping up ‘China threats’ is not conducive to improving China-US mutual trust and bilateral ties, nor can it make the US safer,” Mao said.

The US shot down the balloon on Saturday on a direct order by President Biden.

Washington said the Chinese balloon had been flying over the country for several days.

The discovery of the “spy balloon” in US airspace triggered a diplomatic crisis between the US and China.

It led to the suspension of a Beijing visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken scheduled for the last weekend.

On Friday, the Pentagon said they detected a second Chinese balloon flying over Latin America. Beijing has not yet responded to the claim. EFE


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