By Jesus Centeno
Beijing, Mar 7 (EFE).- China denied Tuesday having sold arms to Russia, said its close relationship with Moscow is not a threat to other countries and panned the United States during the first public press appearance of new Foreign Minister Qin Gang.
Qin, who took office in December, gave a nearly two-hour press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Assembly in which he raised his tone against Washington, whom he accused of “creating crises” to “contain China.”
As a calling card, Qin lashed out at the US administration for “completely deviating” from rationality.
“We saw it in the recent episode of the balloons. They resorted to the presumption of guilt, dramatized what was an accident, used force and they caused a crisis. The US is wrong about China,” he said.
The foreign minister said Washington has taken China “as its main geopolitical rival” and said “it is only trying to trip up or even hurt the other party. That is not fair competition, it is malicious confrontation,” he said. “They won’t get away with it.”
The diplomat urged Washington to have “an inclusive vision if it wants to be great again” and stressed that it will not be able to “stop China’s steps on its path to modernization.”
“If they don’t step on the brakes, if they continue with this madness, nothing can prevent relations from derailing. This confrontation is a reckless gamble, and the interests of both countries and even the future of mankind are at stake,” Qin said.
Bilateral relations deteriorated by leaps and bounds in the last year due to conflicts such as the August visit to Taiwan by the then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, trade and technological sanctions and the recent “spy” balloon crisis.
Qin praised Beijing’s ties with Moscow.
“They advance the multi-polarization of the world, they are based on mutual strategic trust and good neighborliness. Some see in this relationship echoes of the Cold War, but this relationship does not threaten any other country.”
Qin said his country has not sold weapons to Russia, adding that China has made “an independent judgment” and “opted for peace” in Ukraine, referring to the recent statement in which he defended respect for the sovereignty of all countries. He called for “moderation,” a proposal criticized by the West for putting “the aggressor and the victim” on the same level.
Qin was conciliatory on Europe, saying China supports its “integration” and its “long-term stability and security,” although he said he hopes the continent would demonstrate “true strategic autonomy.”
At the press conference, in which questions were agreed in advance and to which numerous permanent correspondents in the Asian country did not have access, Qin said the country’s global security initiative is committed to that “multilateralism” that opposes the “confrontation” of blocs.
“The world is marked by turbulence, and Chinese diplomacy is riding stormy waves. But we will not cease in our efforts.”
Qin said Beijing “will maintain a foreign policy of peace and openness that will provide opportunities” and that China “will continue its commitment to help those who have financial problems,” in addition to announcing a third forum of the New Silk Roads, a project that seeks to build infrastructure in more than 60 countries. EFE