During the visit of Vice Foreign Minister Wendy Sherman’s visit to China, Beijing clearly attacked US policy. The relationship between the two countries was “at a dead end”.
The Chinese government has accused the US of “highly misguided” China policy and warned of “serious difficulties” in future bilateral relations. During a visit by US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, China’s Vice Secretary of State Xie Feng said relations between Beijing and Washington were “at an impasse”. The US must end the “demonization” of China.
Preparation for a possible summit meeting
With Sherman, the highest-ranking representative of President Joe Biden’s US administration to date is visiting the People’s Republic. The US State Department said last week that Sherman wanted to address conflict issues during her stay. It should be avoided, however, that relations with China lead to a “conflict”.
The visit is widely interpreted as preparation for a possible summit meeting between Biden and his Chinese colleague Xi Jinping. The tone of voice between the two governments had intensified over the past few weeks.
China criticizes “hostile rhetoric”
The signs also clearly indicated confrontation at Sherman’s reception by Vice Foreign Minister Xie. The US sees an “imaginary enemy” in China, Xie accused his US colleague, according to a statement from his ministry. The United States may have hoped that the “demonization of China” would bring responsibility for its “own structural problems” to Beijing. “We are calling on the US to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policies.”
The Chinese see the US’s “hostile rhetoric” against Beijing as a “poorly disguised attempt to contain and suppress China,” Xie said. The sharp remarks were reminiscent of the exchange of blows between the top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G7 summit in March.
Meeting with China’s foreign minister planned
Sherman arrived in Tianjin on Sunday after visiting Asian US partners. The Deputy Secretary of State is the second high-ranking US representative to travel to China since Biden took office, after US climate envoy John Kerry.
At the start of her visit to China, the top diplomat wrote on Twitter that she had spoken to representatives of US companies about their “difficulties” in China. She expressed her “deeply felt sympathy” to those affected by the devastating floods in central China’s Henan Province. A meeting between Sherman and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is also planned.
Relations between the US and China are strained
Yi announced on Saturday that he wanted to “teach the USA a lesson” with a view to treating other countries on an equal footing. “China will not accept the self-declared superiority of another country,” he was quoted by his ministry as saying.
Relations between Beijing and Washington are extremely strained. Controversial topics include China’s actions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the way the authorities deal with Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang Province.
The accusation of the USA that China was responsible for a large-scale hacker attack on the US software company Microsoft recently caused new tensions between the two countries. Beijing rejects the allegations as politically motivated and “fabricated”.