China’s foreign minister has stated that China-US relations have “seriously deviated,” while also threatening conflict.
“Suppression and containment will not make America great. It will not halt China’s rejuvenation “Qin Gang stated.
On Tuesday, Mr Qin, China’s former ambassador to the United States, held his first press conference as foreign minister.
Despite recent efforts to improve relations, the spy balloon saga has heightened tensions between the superpowers.
“It [the US] sees China as its main rival and the most significant geopolitical challenge. This is equivalent to putting the first button on the shirt incorrectly “Mr Qin stated.
The foreign minister was responding to a question about whether a healthy China-US relationship was still possible as the two countries’ differences grew.
The US has called for “guardrails,” but what it really wants is for China not to respond with words or actions when provoked, according to Mr Qin.
He was referring to US President Joe Biden’s comments last month that the US would “compete fully with China but [is] not looking conflict”.
Mr Qin stated: “If the United States does not apply the brakes and continues down the wrong road, no amount of guardrails will prevent the derailment and overturning, and it will inevitably lead to conflict and confrontation. Who will bear the devastating consequences?”
He also said the diplomatic crisis caused by the balloon incident could have been averted but the US acted with “the presumption of guilt”.
The suspected spy balloon has previously been described as a “clear violation of US sovereignty” by Washington. Beijing admitted ownership of the object, but claimed it was a civilian airship that had been blown off course.
Mr Qin’s remarks come on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s unusually direct rebuke of the United States on Monday.