U.S. should stop trying to suppress China, says Wang Yi

REUTERS/David ‘Dee’ Delgado/Pool/File Photo
Chinese State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi looks on prior to a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the 77TH United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 23, 2022.

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his U.S. counterpart on Monday that the United States should stop trying to contain and suppress China and avoid creating obstacles to the two countries’ relationship.

Wang also said in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that export controls that Washington imposed on China severely damaged its legitimate rights and must be rectified, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

On the call, Blinken discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability, the U.S. State Department said in a separate statement.

The United States has repeatedly stressed the need to maintain open lines of communication between the two countries, but also recently highlighted the implications if Beijing were to support Russia’s Ukraine invasion.

Russia’s strategic partner China has been firmly on the fence on the Ukraine war, criticizing Western sanctions against Russia but stopping short of endorsing or assisting in the military campaign.

Blinken also discussed with his Chinese counterpart the need to responsibly manage U.S.-China relations, according to the statement.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a news briefing on Monday that the call, which he said lasted about 70 minutes, was productive and professional.

“Any notion that our policy is directed against China or any other country around the world is not true. It is true, of course, that we have profound disagreements with the PRC (People’s Republic of China) in a number of areas,” Price said.

He added that the United States did not hear anything new from Wang about China’s approach to Russia’s war.

Last week, President Joe Biden said the United States did not seek conflict with China and President Xi Jinping said China was willing to work with the United States to find ways to get along to the benefit of both.

The remarks come ahead of the G20 Summit in Bali next month in which both leaders could potentially meet.

Price said he had no updates on whether Blinken and Wang discussed prospects for a Xi-Biden meeting, and deferred to the White House on any plans.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang, Bernard Orr, Tony Munroe, Humeyra Pamuk and Michael