Has a new Cold War begun? China's foreign minister warns US against pushing two nations to the 'brink'
Minister Wang Yi spoke at the National People's Congress annual session where he cautioned America against trying to change China
The relation between the US and China, two of the world’s largest economies, is looking worse as on Sunday, May 24, Beijing’s foreign-policy establishment issued warnings against Washington. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the US should give up its “wishful thinking about changing China” and stop pushing both countries “to the brink of a new Cold War”. The two nations have seen a fractious relationship developing, especially after Donald Trump took over three years ago. While there have been fights over trade and technology and differences over Hong Kong, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has made it worse since it originated in China and ended up affecting and killing most people in the US.
Wang spoke at a news conference at the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing where he said: “China has no intention to change, still less replace, the United States. It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernization.” Taking a veiled dig at President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who have repeatedly said that China’s ruling Communist Party is a threat to the world, Wang said US politicians “are taking China-U.S. relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War. This dangerous attempt to turn back the will of history will undo the fruits of decades-long China-U.S. cooperation, dampen America’s own development prospects, and put world stability and prosperity in jeopardy."
Wang asks US to 'stop wasting precious lives'
Wang also criticized the US over its herculean struggle to contain the virus which has affected 1.64 million people and killed more than 97,000. “I call on the US to stop wasting time and stop wasting precious lives,” he said. He said China was “open” to international scientific cooperation to identify the source of the coronavirus but said any investigation must be ‘free of political interference’, based on science and led by the World Health Organization, which has been accused by Trump in the past of being biased towards China.
Wang further targeted the US leadership saying “some political figures in the US” rushed to label the virus and politicize its origins to try “stigmatizing” China. The Chinese foreign minister added that an investigation must ‘oppose any presumption of guilt’. While it is being commonly believed that the virus got transmitted from animals into humans at a wet market in Wuhan, the American political leadership has remained stubborn over its position that it all started from a biohazard lab in the Chinese city.
'Political virus spreading in the US'
“It’s most regrettable that while coronavirus is still out there, a political virus is still spreading in the United States and, jumping at any opportunity to attack and slander China, some politicians ignore the basic facts and make up countless lies and conspiracy theories concerning China,” Wang said.
A report in the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, said on Sunday, May 25 that China was “considering punitive countermeasures” against some politicians in the US who are spearheading efforts to hold it accountable for the pandemic. China saw an initial surge in the outbreak but the figures stabilized at around 84,000 after a point of time. Its official death toll stands at around 4,600.