Beijing warns Washington of a risk of “conflict”

Beijing warns Washington of risk of “conflict”< /p> UPDATE DAY

China on Tuesday accused the United States of stoking tensions between the two powers and warned of the risk of “conflict” and “confrontation.” 

Disputes between Beijing and Washington have multiplied in recent years: the status of Taiwan, tensions in the South China Sea, imbalance in the trade balance or the treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

Last month, the US downing of a Chinese balloon further strained relations, with the Biden administration accusing the craft of spying on its territory, which China strongly denies.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday that “if the United States continues to go down the wrong path and does not hold back, no safeguards can prevent the derailment” of relations between Beijing and Washington. .

If that happens, “there will inevitably be a conflict and a confrontation”, added Mr. Qin, questioned in a press conference.

“Who will bear the catastrophic consequences?” the minister, who was speaking on the sidelines of the annual session of Parliament.

The day before, President Xi Jinping had deplored the “containment” and “repression” of Westerners targeting China, citing by name the United States and calling on the private sector to innovate more to make its country less dependent on foreign countries.

Beijing's high-tech ambitions are under increasing restraint from Washington and its allies, prompting Chinese companies to redouble their efforts to dispense with crucial imports.

“Unprecedented Challenges”

China and the United States are engaged in a fierce battle for the manufacture of semiconductors, these electronic components essential to the operation of smartphones, connected cars but also military equipment.

In the name of national security, Washington has increased sanctions in recent months against Chinese chipmakers, now hindered from sourcing American technologies.

“The uncertain and unpredictable factors have increased considerably” for China, Xi Jinping said according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency published Monday evening.

“Western countries, led by the United States, have implemented a policy of containment, encirclement and suppression against China, which has brought unprecedented challenges to our country's development,” he said. he added in an unusual direct criticism of Washington.

The 69-year-old leader, who will obtain an unprecedented third presidential term in a few days, spoke to members of an advisory committee during the annual session of the Chinese Parliament.

“Faced with profound and complex changes internationally as in China, it is necessary to remain calm, concentrated (…) to act proactively, to show unity and to dare to fight” to succeed, has declared Xi Jinping.

Questioned on Tuesday, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, also deplored the current state of Sino-American relations.

“Neo -hysterical McCarthyism»

“I just think that what determines China-US relations should be common interests, common responsibilities and friendship between the two peoples,” Qin Gang said.

“Not politics American interior and this kind of hysterical neo-McCarthyism” directed against China, he argued, referring to the repeated criticism of the American political class against his country.

Until recently Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang also deplored recent accusations by some Western countries claiming, without evidence, that China intends to supply arms to Russia for its war against Ukraine. /p>

The minister said that Beijing will not accept “sanctions” or “threats” from Washington and its allies.

At the end of February, China published a 12-point document urging Moscow and Kiev to hold peace talks.

The text also calls for respect for the territorial integrity of all countries – also implying that of Ukraine, part of whose territory is under Russian control.

Cautiously welcomed by Kiev, this Chinese document was greeted with more skepticism on the Western side because Beijing, officially neutral, has never publicly condemned Moscow.

Qin Gang said China was “neither the cause of the crisis, nor a party, and it did not supply arms to any e of the parties”, calling for the start of peace talks “as soon as possible”.

The Beijing-Moscow relationship does not constitute “a threat to any country in the world”, he stressed.< /p>