China signaled it did not want relations with the U.S. to worsen and urged against the creation of a “new Cold War” as the world’s two biggest economies continue to clash on multiple fronts.
“We reject any attempt to artificially create a so-called ‘new Cold War,’” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an interview with the official Xinhua News Agency late Wednesday. “Anyone who tries to start a new Cold War in the 21st century will be on the wrong side of history and will only be remembered as the one who has upended international cooperation.”
Tensions between the U.S. and China have heightened in recent months over issues including trade, human rights, and the rise of Chinese technology companies, driving China to say that relations had hit multi-decade lows. Tit-for-tat forced closures of consulates in each country last month were followed by an announcement this week of the highest-level U.S. trip to Taiwan in more than 40 years, a move Beijing said it “firmly opposed.”
“China has no intention to fight a ‘diplomatic war’ with the U.S. as it will only hurt the interests of the two peoples even more,” Wang said. “If the U.S. is bent on going down the wrong path, China is ready to make due response.”
Wang also urged the U.S. to “reject decoupling and uphold cooperation,” saying the interests of both sides were deeply entwined. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has urged U.S. companies to bar Chinese applications from their app stores, part of Washington’s push to banish Chinese technology from American computers and smartphones.
“Forced decoupling will inflict a lasting impact on bilateral relations, and endanger the security of international industrial chains and interests of all countries,” he said.