China on Monday accused the United States of a “deadlock” in two-way relations, accusing it of creating an “imaginary enemy” and of setting a confrontational tone during a meeting with the secretary of China. Deputy State Wendy Sherman.
Sherman, the second US diplomat, arrived on Sunday for the rare face-to-face talks in the northern city of Tianjin, amid deteriorating relations between the world’s two largest economies.
“US-China relations are at a standstill and face serious difficulties,” Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said at the meeting on state television.
“The United States wants to rekindle the sense of national purpose by making China an ‘imaginary enemy’.”
Later, in a meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a member of the Chinese State Council or Cabinet, Sherman presented a series of Chinese actions that “go against our values and interests and of those of our allies and partners, and who undermine the international rules-based order. “
“In particular, she voiced our human rights concerns, including Beijing’s anti-democratic crackdown in Hong Kong; the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang; the abuses in Tibet; and restriction of access to the media and freedom of the press. She also expressed our concerns about Beijing’s conduct in cyberspace, across the Taiwan Strait and in the East and South China Seas, ”according to a statement released by the State Department.
Sherman’s visit to China was a late addition to an Asian itinerary that included stops in Japan, South Korea and Mongolia amid wrangling over protocol between Beijing and Washington.
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On Saturday, Wang warned that China would not agree to the United States taking a “top” position in the relationship, a day after China announced sanctions against former US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and others.
Senior US officials had described Sherman’s expected stance in the talks, saying the US welcomed competition with Beijing but would insist on a level playing field and “safeguards” to avoid conflict.
The US government and lawmakers have criticized China’s policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, with the US Senate this month passing a bill banning imports from the far west, citing forced labor issues .
Monday’s meeting took place amid a fractured relationship between Beijing and Washington that has deteriorated in the months since a first diplomatic meeting in March in Anchorage, the first under President Joe Biden’s administration. .
At the meeting in Alaska, Chinese officials, including Wang, denounced the state of US democracy, while US officials accused the Chinese side of demagoguery.
Monday’s talks took place against the backdrop of strict measures by China against COVID-19, meaning visiting foreign officials met with their Chinese counterparts outside of Beijing, the capital.
Foreign media were kept away from the hotel where the talks were held, but Chinese media were allowed to enter the premises.