China urges US to lift trade restrictions

23 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

BEIJING: Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called on the US on Monday to lift restrictions on trade and people-to-people contacts while ceasing what Beijing considers unwarranted interference in the areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Wang’s comments at a foreign ministry forum on US-China relations come as Beijing is pressing the administration of President Joe Biden to drop many of the confrontational measures adopted by his predecessor Donald Trump, report agencies.

Among those are pressure over trade and technology grievances that prompted Trump to hike tariffs on Chinese imports in 2017 and impose bans or other restrictions on Chinese tech companies and academic exchanges.

Trump also upgraded military and diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy claimed by China as its own territory, while sanctioning Chinese officials blamed for abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and a crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong.

“We know that the new US administration is reviewing and assessing its foreign policy we hope that the US policy makers will keep pace with the times, see clearly the trend of the world, abandon biases, give up unwarranted suspicions and move to bring the China policy back to reason to ensure a healthy steady development of China-US relations,” Wang told diplomats, scholars and journalists at the Lanting Forum.

While Biden has pledged reengagement and a more civil tone in US diplomacy, its unclear whether he will make any fundamental changes in Washington’s policies toward Beijing.

China faces more opposition than ever in Washington due to its trade record, territorial disputes with neighbours, and accusations of technology theft and spying. Taiwan enjoys strong bipartisan support, as do criticisms of China’s human rights record, especially on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Wang said China had “no intention to challenge or replace the United States” and was ready to peacefully coexist and seek common development.

Wang urged the US to “stop smearing” the reputation of China’s ruling Communist Party and to “stop conniving at or even supporting the erroneous words and actions of separatist forces for Taiwan independence and stop undermining China’s sovereignty and security on internal affairs concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.”

Wang said the US should reactivate all levels of dialogue which he said the US had effectively halted under the Trump administration, and boost cooperation on major bilateral and international issues. The Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and the global economic recovery are the three biggest issues on which the sides can cooperate, he said.


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