China’s recently appointed foreign minister Qin Gang told Washington to watch out if it attempts to foil Beijing’s plans surrounding surveillance balloons, Taiwan, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Qin’s remarks came during a Tuesday news conference in which he warned the U.S. to change its policy or be forced to deal with “confrontation and conflict” from China. Chinese dictator Xi Jinping shared a similar sentiment on Monday, attacking the U.S. for trying to shame China over its backing of Russia, reported OAN.
“If the United States does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there surely will be conflict and confrontation,” Qin proclaimed.
The Chinese foreign minister cast doubts on claims by Joe Biden that the U.S. wants “competition with China but not conflict,” telling the audience, “In fact, the U.S. side’s so-called ‘competition’ is all-around containment and suppression, a zero-sum game.”
He also said that disputes between the two nations “may be unavoidable unless Washington stops trying to suppress Beijing.”
A video posted to Twitter in March showed that Defense Secretary Llyod Austin, who has previously cautioned that China is “on pace to become a peer competitor to the United States,” reportedly issued a warning to U.S. armed forces, saying that China is the military’s top priority.
According to a Chinese news outlet, Xi pointed the finger at Washington for hurting the nation’s progress.
“Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented grave challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi reportedly said.
He appeared to suggest China is not afraid to engage in war if necessary, stating that the country should “remain calm, maintain concentration, strive for progress while maintaining stability, take active actions, unite as one and dare to fight.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price stressed that the U.S. would like to “coexist responsibly” with China, claiming that Americans “want to have that constructive competition that is fair” and “doesn’t veer into that conflict.”