Project 211

U.S. under fire as diplomats pull no punches

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 July, 2012, 12:00am

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Top Chinese diplomats have lambasted the US for undermining Beijing's interests and making strategic mistakes in the Sino-US relationship, accusing Washington of meddling in China's domestic affairs and stirring up worries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai and senior diplomat Pang Hanzhao warned of thorny problems facing bilateral ties.

'China has never done anything to undermine the US core interests and major concerns, yet what the United States has done in matters concerning China's core and important interests and major concerns is unsatisfactory,' an article said.

The article was published in the China International Strategy Review 2012 by Peking University, and was posted on the Foreign Ministry's website yesterday.

It came at a time of rising tensions between China and other Asian countries because of territorial disputes, with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton saying last week that all sides should resolve the South China Sea disputes without coercion or the use of force.

In the article, Cui and Pang said the US tended to see China's intentions in the worst possible light and criticised the US for intervening in disputes between China and its neighbours, even though China did not seek a dominant position in the Asia-Pacific region.

'What is the true motive behind all these moves? What signals do they want to send to China and the region?' they asked. 'All these have not only made China raise doubts, but also have upset other countries in the region.'

The article added that many countries were deeply concerned that the US had put so much emphasis on building up military alliances in the region. 'Political leaders in some regional countries have openly warned the US against handling its relations with China with a cold war mentality,' it said.

The article also said the US should not politicise trade disputes, and urged it to treat China as an equal partner. 'There have never existed such issues as one looking for the other's favour, one owing to the other or one above the other in China-US relations,' it said.

Cui and Pang said the US had often criticised China publicly on issues related to Tibet , Xinjiang , democracy and human rights, and called on it not to play 'small tricks' against China.

Professor Shi Yinhong, a US affairs expert at Renmin University, said the Chinese diplomats' remarks were a response to Clinton's comments on the South China Sea.

'Beijing was also irked when [blind activist] Chen Guangcheng fled to the US embassy in Beijing in April, but it was not appropriate for Beijing to make strong remarks at that time,' he said.

Professor Jia Qingguo, an expert in US affairs at Peking University, said Beijing was worried China would be targeted ahead of November's US presidential election.