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Wang Yi urges US to stop ‘containing China while calling for dialogue’ in phone call with Blinken

《环球时报·英文版》 2022-12-23

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, during which Wang called on the US to stop its old tricks of unilateral bullying and containing China's development.

Analysts said that the US needs to strengthen the credibility of its China policy, control the negative factors and actively maintain the trend of positive cooperation brought by the latest meeting between the heads of state, which is in line with the interests of both China and the US as well as the rest of the world.

Wang told Blinken in the phone call that the two countries should focus on turning the consensus reached by the top leaders into tangible policies and actions.

In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, putting forward strategic guidance for bilateral ties to return to a healthy track, and working teams from the two countries also had a series of beneficial engagements. However, US politicians have repeatedly smeared China's COVID-19 control policies, suppressed China more vigorously on chip exports and increased arms sales to China's Taiwan region.

The US should not call for dialogue while at the same time containing China, or talk about cooperation but putting a knife in China… this is not managing disputes but intensifying conflicts, Wang said.

Wang said that the US is still doing its old trick of imposing unilateral bullying, and China will continue to defend its sovereignty and development interests. The US must pay attention to China's justified concerns and stop containing China, and especially not challenge China's red line as if it were slicing salami.

Wang's remarks showed that China is expressing its dissatisfaction over the US' saying one thing and doing another in a more candid and frank way,Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday.

On December 6, the Biden administration signed off on two new significant arms sales of more than $425 million in spare aircraft parts to support Taiwan island's US-supplied weapons systems. Blinken told Wang in the phone call that the US continues to uphold the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan independence.

The US previously made some provocations against China to gain so-called bargaining chips before important visits and meetings. However, a friendly atmosphere can only be created with efforts from both sides, said Xin.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the phone call may be aimed at laying the groundwork for a possible visit by Blinken to China early next year.

During the phone conversation, the Chinese side pointed out the status of China-US relations, existing problems, plans for future relations and concrete steps to realize these plans, Li said, adding that the phone call shows the reality that China and the US have broad common interests and space for cooperation. It also makes clear that the current crux in China-US ties is Washington's unilateral bullying mentality.

Wang's remarks show that China is willing to shoulder its historical responsibility and handle China-US relations in a responsible manner. However, US policy toward China lacks consistency and credibility, which is why Wang was being tough in reminding Blinken, experts said.

Wang and Blinken's conversation took place on the same day that China imposed sanctions on Yu Maochun, known as Miles Yu in the US, and Todd Stein, deputy staff director of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, as countermeasures to illegal US sanctions placed on two Chinese officials on December 9.

China will freeze all Chinese assets of both Yu and Stein, and ban any organization or individual within China from engaging with them. Both men and their immediate family members are also banned from entering China, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

According to Li, China's sanction against Yu and Stein as countermeasures ahead of the Wang-Blinken call serves as a reminder to Blinken to do more for the benefit of China-US relations, not the opposite.

The Chinese government will not tolerate anyone who undermines China-US relations or undermines China's major interests, nor can the US seek cooperation with China while at the same time harming China's interests, Li said.

Together with former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Yu is believed to have promoted a number of anti-China initiatives, such as advocating for restrictions on visas to China, imposing trade sanctions, and spreading conspiracy theories on the origins of COVID-19.

Wang told Blinken that there should be a new atmosphere for the new year. People in both China and the US and the world are hoping for China-US relations to stop their downward spiral, and a zero-sum game mentality can only lead to clashes between the two great powers.

Wang said the two countries should explore the right way to get along with each other under the direction pointed out by their top leaders and make the utmost efforts for the benefit of Chinese and Americans and global peace and stability.