tirsdag 7. mars 2023

China’s new foreign minister warns of conflict with US, defends Russia ties

China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned Tuesday that “conflict and confrontation” with the United States is inevitable if Washington does not change course, delivering a stern and wide-ranging rebuke of US policies for his first press conference in the new role.

Qin, who was until recently China’s ambassador to the US, built up a reputation for being careful and accomplished diplomat while overseas. But he struck a far more combative tone in his first appearance as foreign minister at China’s annual parliamentary meeting, warning of the “catastrophic consequences” of what he described as a “reckless gamble” by Washington in how it treats its fellow superpower.

“If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” Qin said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. At the highly scripted event, Qin set the tone for China’s foreign policy in the coming year and beyond, berating the US for rising bilateral tensions while defending Beijing’s close partnership with Moscow.