China’s Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. Republican Party on Thursday to halt “groundless accusations” against Beijing in its party platform, which takes aim at China for its military build-up and “preposterous” claims in the South China Sea.
In a statement issued via the official Xinhua News Agency, the Foreign Ministry said the party’s platform, adopted Monday at the Republican National Convention, amounted to interference in China’s domestic affairs.
“We hope relevant parties stop their groundless accusations against China and interference in China’s domestic affairs and contribute more to bilateral trust and cooperation,” ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, adding that he hoped the U.S. would view China’s development “in an objective and rational manner and correctly understand issues” involving bilateral ties.
Republicans came out guns blazing against China in their 2016 party platform — a marked contrast from the softer tone of the charter four years earlier — ripping President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent.
“The liberalizing policies of recent decades have been abruptly reversed, dissent brutally crushed, religious persecution heightened, the internet crippled, a barbaric population control two-child policy of forced abortions and forced sterilizations continued, and the cult of Mao revived,” the new document said.
The Foreign Ministry’s reaction marked a departure from the Chinese government’s general policy of refraining from commenting on the U.S. presidential election. Beijing has roundly criticized other countries such as the United States for meddling in its affairs, including over human rights and territorial disputes.
In an editorial, the state-run Global Times had harsh words for both the Republican platform and its newly minted nominee, Donald Trump.
The commentary in the paper, known for its nationalistic slant, called Trump a “master of manipulating negativity,” who is “capitalizing on the confusion and insecurity of the U.S. working class.”
“The really disturbing message the convention has presented is that the GOP platform, in a 66-page policy document, seems to have given in to Trump’s wackiness,” it said, adding that China is mentioned more than 20 times, with none “in a positive context.”
“The severity of this round of China-bashing, although a routine tactic in the U.S. presidential season, is one of the harshest, indicating how desperate Trump is to paper over the U.S.’ own problems and create an illusion that he has the solutions,” the editorial said.