China expressed firm opposition on Thursday to recent remarks on its internal affairs made by Nicholas Burns, United States President Joe Biden”s pick for ambassador to Beijing, saying that they are full of a Cold War mentality and run counter to facts.
“We urge Mr Burns to get a clear understanding of the major trends in the world as well as people’s aspirations, to objectively learn about China’s real situation and to look at China’s development and its relations with the US in a rational manner,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
In testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Burns, a career diplomat, took a hard-line stance on relations with China.
Calling China the “most dangerous competitor” of the US, he made a number of allegations with regard to Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan.
Issues related to Taiwan, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Tibet autonomous region and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are China’s internal affairs and no interference from other countries is allowed, Wang said.
The so-called genocide in Xinjiang is the lie of the century fabricated by a handful of anti-China “scholars” in the West and US politicians, and its real purpose is to suppress and contain China’s development, he said.
Noting that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, Wang said the US should keep its promise not to sell arms to Taiwan as agreed in the Aug 17 communique signed between China and the US in 1982.
He also said that the vile intention of a few US politicians to smear China through politicizing the study of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic is known to all.
The spokesman stressed that Burns should not underestimate the firm resolve and determination of the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty, saying that he should play a constructive role in promoting China-US relations and strengthening friendship between the two peoples.
“We oppose defining the China-US relationship as competition. If there is any in such practical areas as economy and trade, it should be benign competition,” Wang said.
Burns, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs, was tapped by Biden two months ago for the critical post at a time when relations between the world’s top two economies have plunged to the lowest point since they established diplomatic ties in 1979.
In July, Qin Gang became China’s ambassador to the US, replacing Cui Tiankai, who left Washington in June.
However, the post of US ambassador to China has been vacant since former US ambassador Terry Branstad left Beijing in October 2020.
“The possible selection of Ambassador Burns reflects Biden’s recognition that relations with China are complex and require a seasoned diplomat to deal with them,” Chas W. Freeman, US assistant secretary of defense between 1993 and 1994, told China Daily in an earlier interview.
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