US urged to keep pace with times, lift trade restrictions

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Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese imports in 2017 and imposed bans and other restrictions on Chinese tech companies and academic exchanges.
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China’s top diplomat on Monday called on the new US President Joe Biden’s administration to lift restrictions on trade and people-to-people contacts while ceasing interference in the areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s comments at a Foreign Ministry forum on US-China relations come as Beijing presses the new administration in Washington to drop many of the confrontational measures adopted by former President Donald Trump.

Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese imports in 2017 and imposed bans and other restrictions on Chinese tech companies and academic exchanges. Trump also upgraded military and diplomatic ties with Taiwan, while sanctioning Chinese officials for Xinjiang and Hong Kong issues.

“We know that the new US administration is reviewing and assessing its foreign policy,” Wang told diplomats, scholars and journalists at the Lanting Forum. “We hope that the US policy-makers will keep pace with the times, see clearly the trend of the world, abandon biases, give up unwarranted suspicions and move to bring the China policy back to reason to ensure a healthy, steady development of China-US relations.”

Wang said China has “no intention to challenge or replace the United States” and is ready to peacefully coexist and seek common development.

Wang urged the US to “stop smearing” the reputation of Communist Party of China and to “stop conniving at or even supporting the erroneous words and actions of separatist forces for Taiwan independence and stop undermining China’s sovereignty and security on internal affairs concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.”

I hope that the two sides will work together to steer the giant ship of China-US relations back to the course of sound development.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi

He said the US should reactivate all levels of dialogue that he said the US had effectively halted under the Trump administration, and boost cooperation on major bilateral and international issues. The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the global economic recovery are the three biggest issues on which the sides can cooperate, he said.

On trade, Wang said China hopes the US would “adjust its policies as soon as possible, among others, remove unreasonable tariffs on Chinese goods, lift its unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies and research and educational institutes and abandon irrational suppression of China’s technological progress.”

The US should also lift restrictions on media, educational and people-to-people exchanges to reverse sharp declines in numbers of Chinese studying in the US and visits by Chinese for tourism or business, Wang said.

“I hope that the two sides will work together to steer the giant ship of China-US relations back to the course of sound development toward a bright future with boundless prospects,” he said.

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. Fifty years ago, Dr Henry Kissinger made the ice-breaking visit to China, and leaders of China and the United States jointly reopened the door of interaction which had been closed for decades, Wang said.

“Fifty years later today, we must, with the sense of responsibility for the two countries and the world, make once again the sensible and right decision,” he said.

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden as a positive step.

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