Accessibility links

Breaking News

China Criticizes US for Suppressing Its Rise While Touting Partnership With Russia

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a press conference on the sideline of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 7, 2024.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a press conference on the sideline of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 7, 2024.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Thursday criticized the United States for trying to suppress China’s rise through sanctions and reiterated Beijing’s commitment to uphold the multipolar world order with partners such as Russia.

Speaking to local and foreign media during the annual meeting of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, Wang said while relations between China and the United States have improved since the summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, Washington’s misconception of China remains strong and it has not honored the promises made during the summit.

“The U.S. continues to renew their means of suppressing China while expanding the sanctions list,” he said, adding that Washington’s desire to punish Beijing has reached an “unimaginable level.”

Questioning Washington’s credibility as a great power, Wang urged the U.S. to view China’s rise and development objectively and rationally handle its interactions with Beijing.

“We urge the U.S. to recognize the general trend of historical development and put its promises into practice,” Wang added.

China’s Foreign Minister Escalates Verbal Spat With US
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:01:54 0:00

Some analysts say Wang’s criticism of the U.S. reflects Beijing’s concern about facing technological bottlenecks and economic encirclement by Washington and its allies.

“Beijing is hoping to elicit further American concessions and it’s asking the U.S. to lower its walls on technological de-risking from China,” Wen-ti Sung, a political scientist at Australian National University told VOA in a written response.

While Wang urged the U.S. to promote a healthy and stable development of bilateral relations alongside China, he touted Beijing’s close partnership with Russia, saying both countries continue to deepen political mutual trust while pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation.

“As major world powers and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China, and Russia have forged a new paradigm of great power relations that adheres to permanent good neighborliness while deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation on the basis of nonalignment, nonconfrontation and nontargeting of third parties,” Wang said.

Some experts say China’s efforts to double down on its “no limits partnership” with Russia is mainly due to its attempt to build an alliance that can resist pressure imposed by the United States.

“Since Russia is anti-U.S., China needs an ally to help it resist pressure from Washington,” Liu Dongshu, an expert on Chinese politics at the City University of Hong Kong, told VOA by phone.

Since China has been highlighting the importance of its partnership with Russia before the Ukraine war, Liu said China may feel the need to stick with that commitment.

“It’s difficult for Beijing to admit that it’s made a mistake in being too supportive of Russia, so for the sake of saving its face, China needs to insist that it’s not wrong for maintaining the partnership with Russia,” he added.

As the war in Ukraine and the Middle East continue, Wang, a 70-year-old veteran diplomat who returned to the role of foreign minister last year following the mysterious dismissal of former Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, said China is actively putting forward proposals for resolving regional and global issues.

He said the only way to end the vicious cycle extended from the conflict between Israel and Hamas is to “comprehensively implement the two-state solution” and said Beijing supports establishment of a Palestinian U.N. member state.

On the Ukraine war, Wang said China has always “maintained an objective and impartial position” and reiterated Beijing’s support for convening an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine.

Liu in Hong Kong said China is facing a dilemma where it wants to present itself as a responsible great power internationally, but it doesn’t want to take action to address the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

“Unlike the U.S., which has experience in mediating global conflicts, China has long adopted this nonintervention approach,” he told VOA. “China is unwilling to take actions to get involved in these conflicts and it also may not be capable of doing that.”

Amid rising tension across the Taiwan Strait in recent weeks, with Chinese coast guard vessels increasing efforts to patrol disputed waters near Taiwan’s outlying islands, Wang said Beijing will never allow Taiwan to be separated “from the motherland” and warned countries around the world not to support Taiwan’s potential pursuit of independence.

“Whoever engages in ‘Taiwan independence’ on the island will be held accountable by history and whoever in the world supports ‘Taiwan independence’ will get burned for playing with fire and taste the bitter fruit of their own doing,” he warned during the 90-minute press conference.

Sung from Australian National University said Wang’s comments on Taiwan are intended to intensify pressure on Taiwan’s diplomatic partners and ensure Taiwan remains internationally isolated. Wang is trying to “warn other countries about the consequences of offering support for Taiwan while reiterating Beijing’s ultimate goal of achieving unification,” he told VOA.

As tension between China and the Philippines grows because of repeated confrontations between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the disputed South China Sea, Wang said China has always exercised “a high degree of restraint” when handling maritime disputes.

“China has always respected historical and legal facts and sought a solution that’s acceptable to each party,” he said, adding that Beijing will not allow its “good intentions” to be abused or the law in the sea to be “distorted.”

Chinese Coast Guard vessels fire water cannons towards a Philippine resupply vessel Unaizah May 4 on its way to a resupply mission at Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024.
Chinese Coast Guard vessels fire water cannons towards a Philippine resupply vessel Unaizah May 4 on its way to a resupply mission at Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024.

After Wang set the tone for China’s foreign policy in 2024 through the press conference on Thursday, some analysts think Beijing will likely adopt a multiprong approach to manage its relationship with different countries.

“China will focus on managing ties with Europe, maintaining close relations with Russia and other pariah states, heightening tensions with Taiwan, India and in the South China Sea, cautiously testing the waters with the U.S. while seeking to court the Global South,” Sana Hashmi, a postdoctoral a fellow at the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, told VOA in a written response.