China offers to work with Biden, warns of new 'McCarthyism'

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Dec 19, 2020, 09:26 AM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Foreign Minister Wang Yi voiced hope for a return of talks and "mutual trust" between the world's two largest economic powers after Biden takes over on January 20.

China's top diplomat has offered cooperation on key priorities of President-elect Joe Biden. Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday also warned that Beijing's many US critics were creating an atmosphere of "McCarthyism" and ignoring common interests.

Wang voiced hope for a return of talks and "mutual trust" between the world's two largest economic powers after Biden takes over on January 20.

"It is important that US policy toward China return to objectivity and sensibility as early as possible," Wang said in a virtual address to the New York-based Asia Society.

Wang said that China saw "space for cooperation" with Biden on three of the four issues he has identified as immediate priorities -- Covid-19, economic recovery and climate change. Biden's fourth stated priority is racial equity.

Wang said Beijing and Washington could collaborate in manufacturing coronavirus vaccines and assisting third countries.

"We hope that we will expand cooperation and manage differences through dialogue," Wang said.

The Trump administration says that decades of US engagement have failed with China, accusing Beijing of rampantly stealing intellectual property, widespread espionage and coercion of other nations through its blitz of infrastructure projects.

"We see McCarthyism resurging and jeopardizing normal international exchanges," Wang said, referring to the witch hunt for communists purported to be in the US government led by Republican senator Joe McCarthy following World War II.

Furthermore, Wang accused unnamed senior US officials of "irresponsible presumption of guilt and emotional lashing-out."

"They ignore the vast common interests and room for cooperation between the two countries and insist that China is a main threat," Wang said.

"This is like misaligning the buttons on clothing. They get things wrong at the very beginning."

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown no sign of tapering off its tough stance on China as it enters its final month.

On Friday, the Commerce Department said it was imposing restrictions on 77 entities that will need special clearance to receive advanced US technology.

The targetted entities include two prominent universities -- the Beijing Institute of Technology, which allegedly sought to secure US items to benefit China's military, and Tianjin University, which was accused of stealing trade secrets.

Four companies were also targetted for assisting China's drive to map citizens' DNA, a campaign that activists say is used to control minorities, especially Uighur Muslims.

Biden, who invested significant time in diplomacy with China as vice president, has broadly agreed that Beijing poses a global challenge and has called for a tougher response on human rights.

But he is expected to take a less bellicose tone than Trump, with his nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, speaking of potential cooperation on climate change and the pandemic.

(with inputs from AFP)

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