X

This is not a paywall.

Register for free to continue reading.

The news sucks. But your reading experience doesn't have to. Help us improve that for you by registering for free.



Please create a password or click to receive a login link.


Please enter your password or get a login link if you’ve forgotten


Open Sesame! Thanks for registering.

First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

China Echoes Biden’s Call for ‘Unity’ in Bid to R...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

China Echoes Biden’s Call for ‘Unity’ in Bid to Reset Relation

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying holds a weekly press briefing. Photographer: Artyom Ivanov/TASS/Getty Images
By Bloomberg
22 Jan 2021 0

China said it hoped Joe Biden would “be successful in governing” and called for unity in a bid to reset relations with the U.S., the day after leveling last-minute sanctions on members of the outgoing Trump administration as the new U.S. president was sworn in.

“After a difficult and extraordinary period, we believe our two peoples deserve to embrace a better future,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing on Thursday, congratulating Biden on his inauguration. “I noticed the word unity mentioned several times in his inaugural speech, this is urgently needed in our bilateral relations.”

The Trump administration “laid so many mines that need to be removed, burned so many bridges that need to be rebuilt, and ruined so many roads need to be restored when it comes to China-U.S. relations,” Hua said. Still, while she said the two countries should now listen to each other and display mutual respect, she cautioned that Beijing would “take firm measures to fight back” against actions that undermined its sovereignty and interests.

During Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, Beijing announced sanctions against 28 Americans, including outgoing Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and other Donald Trump aides for their roles in pushing anti-China policies. A spokeswoman for Biden’s National Security Council called the move “unproductive” and said it appeared to be a bid to sow partisan divides in the U.S.

The sanctions “on these U.S. people are a response to their wrongdoing that undermines China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” Hua said. “It is legitimate and necessary, and shows our firm determination to uphold own national interests.”

Biden’s Plea for Unity Forgotten as White House Girds for Fights

The move hit back at an administration it had fought on fronts ranging from trade to the handling of Covid-19, while leaving a door open for warmer ties with the Biden camp. China had also earlier this week urged “mutual respect” with the new administration.

The sanctions were “perhaps a little parting shot at the Trump administration, but really will have no impact,” Gary Locke, a former U.S. Ambassador to China, told Bloomberg TV on Thursday. “It’s not going to affect President Biden’s commitment to having candid but more constructive dialogue with China, along with all the other world leaders.”

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted