China offers to work with US if the latter toes its line on human rights, other issues

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivers a speech at the Lanting Forum in Beijing, China on February 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(, Feb22’21) – Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi has said Feb 22 that the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if the former respect the latter’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s “internal affairs” and stop “conniving” with “separatist forces” for Taiwan’s independence.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump, reported Reuters Feb 22.

Wang also wanted Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he has called an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he has said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Wang’d speech, given at a forum sponsored by China’s foreign ministry, was preceded by officials playing footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then US President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Citing human rights and issues like Taiwan, Wang has said in prepared remarks translated into English, “over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels.” 

He has called the recent phone conversation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden a positive step.

The two countries have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea, the report noted.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled that it will maintain pressure on Beijing. The President has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang, the report noted.


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