Vastavam web: China warned Friday that its critical relationship with the United States could break “like a glass,” and used the most global of stages to warn the Trump administration it wouldn’t be pushed around on trade. Foreign Minister Wang Yi insisted that his country “will not be blackmailed” or bow to pressure. “Protectionism will only hurt oneself, and unilateral moves will bring damage to all,” he told the UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders.
President Donald Trump this week cranked up punitive tariffs on China, and Beijing responded in kind, escalating a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. “The relationship between our two countries is a common asset. It must be preserved and valued. It’s the result of generations of people’s efforts,” Wang said. “It’s like a glass. It’s easy to break it” and would be difficult to repair, he said.
Although Wang presented China as upholding multilateral institutions drawing an implicit contrast with Trump’s anti-globalist stance Beijing’s top diplomat said the suspicions that China seeks global hegemony and to displace the US as a world leader is false. But he warned it’s an idea that is spreading, amplifying differences between the two countries. “This is a serious strategic misjudgment,” Wang told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, “that will be extremely detrimental to US interests and the future of the United States.” He said China rather seeks a path of peaceful development.
Wang also defended China’s recent participation in military drills with Russia that have added to US anxiety that its key strategic rivals are setting aside historical differences and teaming up against it. He said military-to-military ties are normal to build “mutual understanding.” On human rights, Wang was asked about the reported harsh treatment of Uighur Muslims in China’s far west. He maintained that China had brought law and order to a region once blighted by terrorism. The Trump administration is reportedly considering sanctions in response to members of the religious minority being forced into “re-education” camps on a massive scale. Notwithstanding all these differences, the main driver of the current discord between the U.S. and China is trade.