China’s top diplomat called for a restoration of ties with the U.S., while warning that interfering in the country’s internal affairs was a “red line that must not be crossed.”
Yang Jiechi, who sits on the Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo, said the two countries can work together to improve global affairs. The video address to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations marked China’s most high-profile remarks to an American audience since President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
“For the past few years, the Trump administration has adopted misguided policies against China, plunging the relationship into its most difficult period since the establishment of diplomatic ties,” said Yang, a former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. who oversees China’s foreign affairs. “We believe that peace and development are still the prevailing trend of the times, and that peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation remain the shared aspiration of all peoples.”
But Yang said that Washington must stop interfering in matters that China considers its internal affairs, such as Hong Kong, Tibet, Taiwan and Xinjiang.
“They constitute a red line that must not be crossed. Any trespassing would end up undermining China-U.S. relations, and the United States’s own interests,” Yang said.
Biden has so far signaled a desire to continue the international pressure on China over its human rights practices. Just days after Biden came to power, the State Department issued a statement affirming Washington’s “rock-solid” commitment to Taiwan and urging Beijing “to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he agreed that China’s actions in its western Xinjiang region should be designated as genocide. Meanwhile, Biden’s pick for commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, said Washington must take “aggressive” steps to combat China’s “unfair” trade practices.
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