China’s foreign minister Qin Gang said that the United States and China relationship has diverged in recent days while warning of developing conflict.
The spy balloon myth has enhanced tensions between the superpowers despite recent efforts to improve ties.
” The containment and suppression will not make the United States of America great. It will not stop the restoration of China,” Qin Gang said.
Qin, who was China’s former ambassador to the US, held his first press conference as foreign minister on Tuesday, March 7.
“The US regards China as its predominant competitor and the most successful diplomatic challenge. This is like the first button in the shirt being put wrong,” Gang stated.
The foreign minister was responding to a question on whether a healthy China-US relationship was still possible as differences between the two countries grow.
The US called for establishing “guardrails”, but what it really wants is for China to not hit back with words or actions when provoked, Gang added.
He was referring to US President Joe Biden’s comments last month that the US would compete fully with China but is not looking for conflict.
“If the US does not put on the brakes and continues to roar down the wrong road, no amount of guardrails can stop the derailment and overturning, and it is bound to fall into conflict and confrontation,” he clarified.
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The United States has previously described the suspected spy balloon as a clear signal of violation of US sovereignty. China admitted the object belonged to them but said it was a civilian airship blown off-track.
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However, he asked, “why should the US demand that China holds back from supplying arms to Russia when it sells arms to Taiwan?”.
Qin Gang was named Chinese foreign minister in December 2022 and is one of the youngest appointees to this post in the country’s history. He replaced Wang Yi, who was promoted to the politburo of the ruling Communist Party in October last year.
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