China’s newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Qin Gang. Photo/REUTERS
BEIJING – China and the United States (US) respectively have the third and second largest nuclear reserves in the world.
Tensions are rising between the two countries over economic issues, the US accusing Beijing of supporting Russia, as well as the Taiwan issue.
China’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang said in a press briefing Tuesday (7/3/2023) that the US and China are heading towards conflict if the United States does not “slam on the brakes” in dealing with Beijing.
On Tuesday, Qin, who recently became China’s ambassador to the United States, said the ballooning incident was proof the US saw China as its archenemy, and the United States was acting “with a presumption of guilt” toward China.
The United States believes the balloon shot down by the United States Air Force in early February was a Chinese reconnaissance balloon, although Beijing says the balloon was scientific equipment launched by a private company that went off course.
Qin reiterated, “China is seeking a healthy and stable relationship with the US but the Biden administration’s call for a fence in their relationship is a US signal that China must not respond with words or actions when attacked. That’s not possible.”
If the US does not withdraw its aggressive position towards China, Qin warned, “Conflict and confrontation will be inevitable.”
“If the US doesn’t hit the brakes but continues to accelerate the wrong way, no guardrail can prevent a derailment and there will inevitably be conflicts and confrontations,” Qin stressed.
Qin also spoke of China’s relationship with Russia and pointed to it as a pattern for other countries to follow.
“Relations between Russia and China are characterized by non-alignment with the bloc, no confrontation and no targeting of third parties,” Qin said, apparently referring to NATO created to fight the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
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