China yesterday urged US President Joe Biden’s administration to take steps to “build up goodwill,” including removing tariffs and sanctions, as Beijing continued to put the onus on Washington to repair their fractured relationship.
Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told a forum in Beijing that the two sides should reopen dialog platforms cut off under former US president Donald Trump and back away from some of the previous administration’s policies.
He reiterated the need to remove “unreasonable tariffs,” abandon “irrational suppression” of China’s technology progress, and cited curbs on Chinese media and students as another issue of concern.
“Under the current circumstances, the two sides may start from easier things, interact actively and build up goodwill,” Wang said, adding that Beijing and Washington were still capable of “getting big things done” for the world.
“We hope that the US side will adjust its policies as soon as possible,” he said.
The speech represents China’s most high-profile comment on ties since Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke by phone before the Lunar New Year holiday earlier this month.
While both sides want to stabilize a relationship shaken during Trump’s term, Biden has signaled a desire to maintain many of his predecessor’s China policies.
As China waits for the US to make a first move, the Biden team has been making efforts to rebuild bonds with the US’ partners.
On Friday, the president urged US allies to uphold democracy, warning that the world faces an “inflection point” in history that could result in a tilt toward autocracy.
While a readout from the G7 meeting offered little detail on China, leaders discussed the country “at length,” Bloomberg News reported, citing an EU official with knowledge of the conversation.
Other speakers at yesterday’s event included former US secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd and former chairman and CEO of American International Group Inc Maurice Greenberg.
Paulson said it falls on both countries to work to improve ties.
“The US and China must decide how and where to compete and how to avoid conflict,” he said. “If we don’t, the world will be very dangerous place.”
In his call with Xi, Biden expressed concern about what he said were China’s coercive and unfair economic practices,” as well as human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.
Xi cautioned Biden against interfering in what it considers its own internal affairs, and urged the US help re-establish communication mechanisms to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation.
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