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‘China is Not the Soviet Union’: Beijing’s US Envoy Blasts Washington’s ‘Cold War’ Mindset

© Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the USAChinese ambassador to the United States Qin Gang speaks at an August 31, 2021, event
Chinese ambassador to the United States Qin Gang speaks at an August 31, 2021, event - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.09.2021
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While the US has long publicly presented its conflict with China as primarily geostrategic in nature, a 2018 National Security Council document declassified earlier this year states in plain terms the White House sees it as a fight between capitalism and socialism.
China’s chief envoy to the United States castigated Washington leaders and thinkers on Tuesday for approaching US competition with China as a new “cold war,” calling the move a “misjudgment.”
“The extreme China policy of the previous US administration has caused serious damage to our relations, and such a situation has not changed. It is even continuing,” Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang said at an event hosted by the nonprofit National Committee on US-China Relations on Tuesday.
Under former US President Donald Trump, the White House and Pentagon began a vast strategic shift away from the War on Terror and toward what it termed “great power competition” with Russia and China, particularly China, which has been singled out as the greatest threat worldwide to US supremacy. US President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has continued that approach by expanding sanctions against Chinese officials and companies, as well as attempting to rally regional nations against China.
Biden said in an April speech before Congress that the US was “in a competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century." He also claimed he wanted “competition, not conflict” with the East Asian socialist state, but also cast that relationship as one between “autocracies” and democracy, mirroring much of the language used to frame the titanic mid-20th-century struggle between the US and its capitalist allies and the Soviet Union and its socialist allies, which for a time also included China.
“China is not the Soviet Union,” Qin said at the event, which was attended by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the realpolitik diplomat who laid the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the United States and People’s Republic of China, among other so-called “China watchers.” 
“The Soviet Union’s collapse was of its own making,” Qin added, explaining that corruption and unsustainable military competition had spelled the country’s doom. The USSR was dissolved in 1991 after anti-socialist forces in several of its union republics declared independence, and an attempt by Communist Party members to remove Soviet President and Communist Party Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev from power failed. 
The Russian Federation declared itself the “continuator state” of the USSR and inherited its UN Security Council seat and embassies, among other things.
© REUTERS / POOLU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (2nd L), China's State Councilor Wang and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (2nd L), China's State Councilor Wang and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (L), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (2nd L), China's State Councilor Wang and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18, 2021.
Qin noted that China had learned from history and followed a different path, prospering despite the disastrous breakup of the Sino-Soviet alliance in the 1960s, and overcoming famine and food shortages to become the world’s second-largest economy.
“But we have all made it through. Today, when the US chooses to use state power to bring down Huawei, it can only expect – in the words of many Chinese – not the collapse of Huawei but the emerging of more companies like Huawei,” he said.
Contrasting the almost permanent hostility between the US and USSR, Qin noted that China is “willing to strengthen communication with the US between the departments of foreign affairs, economy, finance, law enforcement and the military, and rebuild dialogue mechanisms. This is to accurately understand each other‘s policy intentions, properly manage and handle differences in a constructive way.”
Indeed, high profile meetings between US and Chinese officials have continued to take place despite the souring relations.
Last week, Reuters reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China Michael Chase had spoken via video call with Chinese Maj. Gen. Huang Xueping, deputy director for the People's Liberation Army Office for International Military Cooperation, with an anonymous US official told the agency that "both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining open channels of communication between the two militaries.”
Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week, in large part to discuss a united policy toward Afghanistan, where the Taliban* Islamist militant group has seized power.
Beijing has found an unexpected advocate in the US business community, which is up in revolt against anti-China measures in Congress. Politico reported on Wednesday that the US Chamber of Commerce, US-China Business Council and the National Retail Federation were among those opposing bills directed at punishing China’s alleged repression in Xinjiang and Hong Kong that would have restricted corporate investment there.
Rufus Yerxa, a former senior US trade representative and World Trade Organization official who is now president of the National Foreign Trade Council, told Politico on Wednesday that some of the biggest US companies, including Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Nike, were deeply enmeshed in the Chinese economy.
“There's a huge consumer market in China,” Yerxa said. “Most of the big US companies are selling there. They're not just using it as an export platform. They're integrated into the economy in other ways.”
*a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and many other nations
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