US pushing ties near brink of 'new Cold War'

China's foreign minister rejected Washington's lies over the coronavirus while saying China was open to an international effort to find its source.

China-US relations are being taken hostage by some US political forces who are trying to push the two countries to the brink of a “new Cold War,” China’s foreign minister said on Sunday, rejecting Washington’s lies over the coronavirus while saying China was open to an international effort to find its source.

This is a dangerous attempt to turn back the wheel of history, Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual national legislative session. Efforts should be made to stop the dangerous practice, he said.

The attempt would ruin the cooperation results achieved by both peoples over the years, undermine the future development of the United States, and jeopardize stability and prosperity of the world, he said.

“Both China and the US stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. This best captures what we have learned from the past decades,” he said. “Both sides should take this lesson to heart.”

Noting that China remains committed to jointly developing ties marked by coordination, cooperation and stability with the United States, Wang said China will defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, its legitimate right to development, and its dignity and place in the world which the Chinese people have worked so hard to earn.

“China and the US should and must find a way of peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial cooperation, demonstrating that this is possible between two countries with different systems and cultures,” he said. “Regretfully, in addition to the raging coronavirus, a political virus is also spreading in the United States. This political virus is using every opportunity to attack and smear China,” said Wang.

“Some politicians have ignored the most basic facts and concocted too many lies about China and plotted too many conspiracies,” he added.

“I want to say here: Don’t waste precious time any longer, and don’t ignore lives,” Wang said. “What China and the United States need to do the most is to first learn from each other and share their experience in fighting against the epidemic, and help each country fight it.”

Identifying the source of the virus is a serious and complex issue of science, which should be studied and explored by scientists and medical experts, according to Wang.

Some politicians in the United States, however, rushed to attach a label to the virus, politicize the tracing of its source and stigmatize China, said Wang, adding that they have overestimated their rumor-mongering ability and underestimated others’ ability to tell right from wrong.

He said China was “open” to international scientific cooperation to identify the source of the novel coronavirus, but stressed that the process must be professional, impartial and constructive.

By being “professional,” it means that the process should be based on science, led by the World Health Organization, and conducted on a global scale by scientists and medical experts. The goal should be to enhance the scientific understanding of this type of virus so that people can deal more effectively with major infectious diseases in the future, he said.

By being “impartial,” Wang said source identifying should be free from political interference, respect the sovereign equality of nations, and oppose any presumption of guilt. The research should cover all countries closely related to the virus. The whole process should be open, transparent, objective and rational, he said.

By being “constructive,” it means that the research should not hamper the work of saving lives, which clearly is the top priority at the moment. It should not harm the international cooperation against COVID-19 or undermine the statutory role of the WHO, Wang said.

Instead, it should be conducive to enhancing performances of various UN systems, to strengthening international solidarity and cooperation among countries, and to improving the global public health system and governance capacity, Wang said.

Regarding China’s aid to the global fight against the pandemic, Wang said China has never pursued geopolitical goals and economic gains, or attached any political strings.

“We Chinese are always ready to reciprocate acts of friendship and kindness from others,” Wang said.

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