China has struck back at US President Donald Trump over his rebuke of Chinese trade and development models, warning Washington against making trade threats or meddling in Chinese internal affairs.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday that China had no intention to “play the Game of Thrones on the world stage,” but also warned that Beijing would not bow in the face of threats on trade and other matters.
“Negotiation cannot take place under threat or at the expense of China’s legitimate right to development,” Wang said while addressing an event organized by the US-China Business Council on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York.
He said the trade war between China and the US was inflicting unnecessary damage on both sides, increasing costs to US firms, triggering consumer price hikes, and diminishing the American growth potential.
The remarks were in reaction to Trump’s speech at the UNGA, in which he said that Washington would no longer tolerate Beijing’s trade practices and that he would not accept a “bad deal” with China on trade.
Wang dismissed the notion that Beijing intended to outperform the US as a world power, emphasizing that “seeking hegemony is not in our DNA” and that China was still a developing country far behind the United States.
“China has no intention to play the Game of Thrones on the world stage. For now and for the foreseeable future, the United States is and will still be the strongest country in the world,” he added.
The Chinese official expressed optimism that a round of high-level trade talks between the two countries next month would produce positive outcomes.
Wang further called for steps away from confrontation between the two largest global economies, saying they should cooperate for mutual benefit and the interest of the rest of the world.
Respect for sovereignty
Moreover, Wang also underlined the need for both countries to abide by the principles of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, respect each other’s sovereignty, and not to engage in imposing their will on each other.
Trump had used his UNGA address to also warn Beijing that the world was watching how it handled the unrest in Hong Kong.
Wang said that in order to preserve Hong Kong’s prosperity, it was necessary to reject violence and respect the rule of law.
“We hope the US will be consistent in its words and actions, respect China’s sovereignty, and respect the efforts of the Hong Kong... government to stop violence and restore order,” the Chinese foreign minister said.
Hong Kong has been experiencing unrest since June. The government of the semi-autonomous Chinese region has been attempting to open dialog with the protesters, even as some of them have been resorting to violence more recently.