Chinese Minister Has Blunt Words for US

He accuses America of a new McCarthyism, warns confrontation looms unless things change
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2023 12:17 PM CST
Chinese Minister Accuses US of New McCarthyism
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reads from the Chinese constitution when answering a question about Taiwan during a press conference held on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress in Beijing, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned Tuesday that Beijing and Washington are headed for “conflict and confrontation” if the US doesn't change course, striking a combative tone at a moment when relations between the rivals are at a historic low. In his first news conference since taking office late last year, Qin’s harsh language appeared to defy predictions that China might abandon its aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomacy in favor of more moderate rhetoric as the countries face off over trade and technology, Taiwan, human rights, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, per the AP.

“If the United States does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there surely will be conflict and confrontation,” said Qin, who accused the US of engaging in "hysterical neo-McCarthyism," per Politico. Qin’s comments echoed remarks made by leader Xi Jinping in a speech Monday to legislators. “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, blockade and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented grave challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi was quoted as saying.

On Taiwan, Qin called the issue the first red line that must not be crossed. “The US has unshakable responsibility for causing the Taiwan question,” he said, accusing the US of “disrespecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” by offering the island political backing and furnishing it with defensive weapons in response to Beijing's threat to use force to bring it under Chinese control. "Why does the US ask China not to provide weapons to Russia, while it keeps selling arms to Taiwan?" he asked. His news conference came two days after the opening of the yearly meeting of the National People's Congress. This year, the body will approve a norm-breaking third five-year term as president for Xi, who has eliminated all term limits to allow him to rule indefinitely. (More US-China relations stories.)

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