BEIJING (Dispatches) -- A top Chinese diplomat has denounced as "too negative” the U.S. policy toward his country, saying the administration in Washington is more focused on confrontation rather than cooperation with Beijing.
In an interview with The Associated Press, China’s vice-foreign minister Le Yucheng criticized Washington’s hardline policies continued by U.S. President Joe Biden against China.
Le signaled that instead of highlighting confrontation, the two sides could promote cooperation since Washington and Beijing are both combating COVID-19 and recovering their economy.
"Such an approach, I must say, is too negative,” he said, adding that it lacks "a forward-looking spirit.”
The top Chinese diplomat said the two countries could team up on the coronavirus response but any cooperation must be on an equal basis, making an apparent reference to the U.S. pressure on China on multiple fronts.
"It is not one side drawing up a laundry list of demands to the other side,” Le said. "In cooperation, one should not be selfish and care only about one’s own interests with no regard for the well-being of the other side.”
The U.S. and China are increasingly at odds over a range of issues, including alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, protests in Hong Kong, China’s territorial claims on Taiwan and most of the South China Sea as well as the COVID-19 origin.
China hoped for an improvement in relations under Biden, who succeeded President Donald Trump in January, but the new administration has shown no sign of backing down on hardline policies toward China.
Biden on Friday sought to present a united front with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter what he claimed as "challenges” by China.
During his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office, Biden hosted Suga as part of his efforts to work further on his pledge to revitalize U.S. alliances already frayed under his Republican predecessor.
The two leaders reportedly addressed an array of geopolitical issues, with China topping the agenda.
"Today prime minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for the U.S.-Japanese alliance and for our shared security,” Biden told a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden, calling the discussions "productive.”
Suga said he and Biden agreed on the necessity of frank discussions with China in the context of Beijing’s activities in the Indo-Pacific region as well as in other contentious issues.
China said early on Saturday that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang were China’s internal affairs and should not be interfered with.