The Chinese side provided the deputy head of the US Department of State Wendy Sherman with a list of actions that the US should take to “correct its wrong policy”. According to information from Beijing, China’s deputy foreign minister Xie Feng said during a meeting in Tianjin that the United States was the “inventor and patent holder” of coercive diplomacy.
Wendy Sherman and Xie Feng met in the city of Tianjin near Beijing. The Chinese politician accused the United States of treating China as an “imaginary enemy”, as a result of which bilateral relations found themselves in a stalemate and faced “serious consequences”. The Chinese side “expressed strong dissatisfaction with the US’s erroneous comments and actions” in finding the source of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea, Xie said after the meeting.
List of China’s demands on the US
The Chinese handed over to Sherman a list of actions that Washington should take to “correct its flawed policy” as well as a list of issues of concern to the Chinese authorities, added the deputy minister. Among the demands were lifting visa restrictions for members of the Communist Party of China and their relatives and Chinese students, lifting sanctions on Chinese officials and state authorities, lifting restrictions on Confucius Institutes and Chinese companies, withdrawing from labeling Chinese media in the US as “foreign agents “and the withdrawal of the extradition request of Huawei’s vice president, Meng Wanzhou.
On the second list, Beijing complained about unfair treatment of the Chinese, as well as Chinese embassies and consulates in the US. He also expressed concern about the rise in anti-Asian and anti-Chinese tendencies and cases of violence against the Chinese.
According to reports from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the Monday meeting in Tianjin, the Chinese side adopted a confrontational tone. Xie judged the US to be the “inventor and patent holder” of coercive diplomacy and that it could not lecture other countries on democracy and human rights. He accused them of having committed genocide against the indigenous peoples of America throughout history and of initiating wars in the world. He also pointed out that over 620,000 people died from COVID-19 there.
Tension between China and the US
Sherman’s talks with Xie are another face-to-face meeting between senior US and Chinese officials. In March leading diplomats from both countries spoke in Alaska. That meeting passed in a tense atmosphere and brought no breakthrough.
US-Chinese relations have dramatically deteriorated in recent years and are now described as the worst in decades. Washington is accusing Beijing of, inter alia, genocide against the Uighurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region, limiting Hong Kong’s autonomy, concealing data on the COVID-19 pandemic, and intimidating Taiwan and neighboring countries in the South China Sea. The Chinese authorities reject all these accusations and respond to the sanctions with retaliatory measures.
Main photo source: Foreign Ministry office / HANDOUT