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Some damage to Sino-US ties ‘beyond repair,’ Chinese media warn

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China’s state media have warned that some damage to Sino-US relations is “beyond repair.” (File photo)

China’s state media have warned that some impairments inflected upon the Sino-US ties amid the persisting anti-China measures by the outgoing Trump administration are “beyond repair,” after the rising rancor was further highlighted in a hateful Twitter exchange between a US senator and Chinese journalists.

“Even if the incoming administration has any intention of easing the tensions that have been sown, and continue being sown, some damage is simply beyond repair, as the sitting US president intends,” China Daily newspaper observed in a Friday editorial.

It further described Washington’s recent decision to limit visitor visas to members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families as well as banning cotton imports from Xinjiang as “worrisome signs,” insisting that relations between the world’s two largest economies are heading towards “a dangerous path.”

The Trump administration also added major Chinese chipmaker SMIC and offshore oil giant CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged military companies, barring American investors from buying securities issued by the two corporations starting late next year.

The development comes as ties between the two countries have fallen to their lowest point in decades over matters such as trade, technology, security, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, US Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee and China Daily journalist Chen Weihua exchanged insults, with the right-wing lawmaker recklessly claiming in Twitter post that China “has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing.”

The insulting allegation drew a harsh response from Chen, who accused Blackburn of being the most “racist and ignorant” US senator, further referring to her as a “lifetime bi---.”

Editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, also slammed Blackburn in a Friday Twitter message, saying it was a pity her “cognitive level is still as low as a monkey’s.”

Also on Friday, China’s state news agency Xinhua posted a video cartoon labeled "Once Upon a PhD," in which a Chinese student in the US is stopped by the "Statue of Liberty" and accused of being a spy, in a mocking reference to Washington’s move to revoke visas of Chinese students regarded as “security risk.”

In the light-hearted exchange, the student is then told to pay tuition fees but skip classes, while avoiding the use of Chinese tech brands Huawei, TikTok and WeChat.

In a vocabulary test to prove her academic proficiency, the student is asked to define the word “scapegoating.” She quickly responds, “Blame everything on China,” which the "Liberty Statue" accepts as the correct answer.

Finally, the student asks the statue, “How long will you keep bullying everyone?” “It all depends on the new management,” the statue replies, before the curtains close.

The moves came as the top US spy chief accused China on Thursday of preparing for "an open-ended period of confrontation with the US," marking yet another bid by the Trump administration to further escalate tensions with Beijing in its final days in office.

"Beijing is preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the U.S. Washington should also be prepared. Leaders must work across partisan divides to understand the threat, speak about it openly, and take action to address it," said Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in an article published by the right-wing financial daily The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, suggested Beijing’s desire to reset the increasingly confrontational relationship with Washington as US President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.

“There are always differences between the two countries. None of them justifies confrontation and war, cold or hot,” Cui said on Twitter post.

“With sufficient mutual respect and mutual understanding, we are capable of managing these differences so that they would not derail the entire relationship,” he added on Thursday.

Moreover, a Reuters report cited “a person familiar with the matter” as saying on Friday that US prosecutors are discussing a deal with lawyers for Chinese Huawei Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to resolve criminal charges against her and end her detention in Canada, which would then terminate a major source of discord.

It remains unclear, however, whether a Biden administration would bring a dramatic shift to Sino-US ties any time soon.

Biden made clear during an interview with The New York Times earlier this week that he would not remove existing tariffs set by the Trump administration against China for now.

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