China Seeks a ‘Peaceful Path’ to Resolve Trade Issues
Friday, China warned that its critical relationship with the United States could break “like a glass,” and used the most global of stages to warn The Trump Administration it will not be pushed around on trade.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi insisted that his country “will not be blackmailed” or bow to pressure.
“Protectionism will only hurt oneself, and unilateral moves will bring damage to all,” he told the UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders.
President Donald Trump this week cranked up punitive tariffs on China, and Beijing responded in kind, escalating a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
President Trump upped the ante by then accusing China of meddling in the upcoming US midterm elections because it opposes his trade policies. China says that is untrue.
FM Wang said US-China relationship is at a critical point since ties were normalized 40 years ago.
“The relationship between our two countries is a common asset. It must be preserved and valued. It’s the result of generations of people’s efforts,” FM Wang said. “It’s like a glass. It’s easy to break it” and would be difficult to repair, he said.
Although FM Wang presented China as upholding multilateral institutions, Beijing’s Top diplomat said the suspicions that China seeks global hegemony and to displace the US as a world leader is false. But he warned it is an idea that is spreading, amplifying differences between the 2 countries.
“This is a serious strategic misjudgment,” FM Wang told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, “that will be extremely detrimental to US interests and the future of the United States.”
He said China seeks a peaceful path of development.
He defended China’s assertive behavior in the South China Sea, where it has built man-made islands to reinforce its sweeping territorial claims that are disputed by its neighbors. He said military facilities on those islands are for defensive purposes to counter military activities by other nations in the area, including the United States.