‘Fight Hurts Both Countries’: China’s Envoy to Washington Urges Need for ‘New Ways to Get Along’
00:44 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 06.08.2022)
© 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
Beijing’s new envoy to Washington once again raised the call for calmer heads to prevail as tensions continue to simmer, urging that any conflict between the US and China can only be detrimental to both nations.
“The current Sino-US relationship is still in a very difficult period, and requires a lot of effort and work,” Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said on China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Thursday in an interview that aired on Saturday.
Qin said the two countries are “looking for new ways to get along” and that his primary job as an envoy between them was to “shorten this exploring process as soon as possible and make it less intense, less surprising, and more smooth and more predictable.”
He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had “stressed that getting the relationship back on the right track is not optional, but something we must do and must do well … So my task is to strengthen the communications with people of all walks of life in the United States.”
“I have met many people from all walks of life in the United States in the past two months, and I have strongly felt there is still a big number of people in the US who support the development of China-US relations. They also support strengthening of exchanges and cooperations between the two countries. Many people clearly opposed decoupling and confrontation between China and the United States, especially in the business community, education, civil society, and in some states. They hope bilateral relations can improve as soon as possible,” Qin told CGTN.
“However, at the same time, I also feel there is widespread prejudice and ignorance of China across the US. So I want to strengthen contacts in all sectors and convey China’s voice,” he added. “I want to make it clear that cooperation can bring mutual benefits while fighting hurts both countries.”
“China and the US should re-recognize each other and find a way to get along. This is China’s proposition to respect each other, carry out win-win cooperation, and coexist peacefully. My job is to shorten this exploring process as soon as possible and make it less intense, less surprising, and more smooth and more predictable.”
Qin, who arrived at his new post two months ago, has previously urged Washington to abandon its antagonizing of China, saying last month that the US should stop regarding China as it did the Soviet Union, calling the drive toward a new cold war a “misjudgement.”
However, he also told the Biden administration to “please shut up” if it was unwilling to attempt to resolve its differences with China.
In 2017 and 2018, the US began a new shift in its strategic thinking, moving away from the War on Terror and toward “great power competition” with Russia and China - particularly China, which they identified as the greatest threat to the future of US global supremacy. While the US has accused China of seeking to upend the postwar global order - which it terms the “rules-based international order” - the Chinese government has maintained it seeks only to join the ranks of other developed nations by expanding its economy and standing on the world stage, not to become the new global hegemon.
Recently, the US signed a new military agreement with Australia and the United Kingdom termed AUKUS, which did not explicitly mention China, but is widely seen as being aimed at restricting alleged Chinese expansionism. Similarly, the US has moved to build new bases in the region and to try and turn regional powers into US allies by selling them military hardware.