China Calls for a Reset, but US Says Beijing Trying to Avert Blame

China calls for a relationship reset with US

China Calls for a Reset, but US Says Beijing Trying to Avert Blame Photo

US officials have accused China of trying to avert blame for its actions, after a top Chinese diplomat said the two countries could work together on various issues if they were able to repair damaged bilateral relations.

Wang Yi, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue after ties sank to their lowest level in decades under former US president Donald Trump.

But he urged Washington to respect Chinas core interests, stop "smearing" the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijings internal affairs, and stop "conniving" with separatist forces for Taiwans independence.

In response, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: "His comments reflect a continued pattern of Beijings tendency to avert blame for its predatory economic practices, its lack of transparency, its failure to honour its international agreements, and its repression of universal human rights."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters separately that the United States viewed the relationship with China as one of "strong competition".

Before Mr Wang spoke, at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the "ping-pong diplomacy" of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then-US president Richard Nixon to visit China.

"Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels," Mr Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts, including on trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uyghur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, and Beijings territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

Mr Biden has voiced concern about Chinas "coercive and unfair" trade practices, and endorsed a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

In a statement on Chinas crackdown on the once semi-autonomous Hong Kong on Monday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the consideration of strict consequences for Beijing.

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