As tensions simmer, China demands US action to improve ties
As tensions simmer, China demands US action to improve ties

As tensions simmer, China demands US action to improve ties

BEIJING (AP) – China’s top diplomat on Monday called on the United States to take steps to improve relations as tensions simmer over Taiwan, trade and other issues.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s remarks on Monday were delivered virtually to a forum marking the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communications, which was signed during the ice-breaking visit to China in 1972 by President Richard Nixon.

That trip led seven years later to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, after which the United States severed formal relations with Taiwan, which China claims to be its own territory, which must be brought under its control by force if necessary.

Wang called on Washington to “reintroduce a fair and pragmatic China policy” and work with China to put their relations on track. He reiterated China’s complaints that the United States was not maintaining its commitments, but did not mention any specific steps China would take.

The parties need to see their relationship “in a broader perspective, with a more inclusive attitude, and choose dialogue over confrontation, cooperation over conflict, openness over seclusion and integration over decoupling,” Wang said.

China has been particularly annoyed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s characterization of ties as “competitive when it should be, cooperative when it can be, conflicting when it should be,” and said the parties should cooperate across the board, on despite their sharp differences.

“The United States should really see China as a partner in the development process, rather than an adversary, and a game of power,” Wang said.

The rapprochement between Washington and Beijing in 1972 was largely driven by their mutual distrust of the Soviet Union. In the decades since, China has grown closer to Moscow, while tensions between the United States and Russia have risen sharply over the war in Ukraine.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing earlier this month, and China has refused to condemn or support Russia’s actions, despite its insistence on maintaining national sovereignty above all else.

“China must decide where to stand and understand that bilateral relations with the United States will only become more strained in the absence of a clear choice to face international law,” said forum participant Jacob Lew, chairman of the influential National Committee for USA-China. Relations and a former US Treasury Secretary.

Shanghai Communique dwelt heavily on the status of Taiwan, which split from the mainland in the midst of civil war in 1949 and has never been ruled by the Communist People’s Republic of China. Following the breach of ties with Taiwan in 1979, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that ensured that the United States would ensure that Taiwan could defend itself and treat threats to the island as a matter of “great concern.”

Taiwan remains the biggest annoying factor in US-China relations, especially as successive US administrations have approved arms sales to the island and increased high-level contact with the democratically elected government in Taipei.

On Saturday, China’s Defense Ministry protested as provocative over the passage of the guided missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson through the Taiwan Strait. The strait is in international waters, and the U.S. Navy said the ship’s passage “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. military flies, sails and operates wherever international law allows.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.