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US envoy nominee Nicholas Burns’ remarks smack of Cold War mentality: China

China has “firmly rejected” US ambassador nominee Nicholas Burns’ tough comments on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, saying his remarks show a Cold War and zero-sum mentality.
Nicholas Burns, US ambassador to China nominee, listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. The Biden administration seeks to enlist allies to vie with China on issues ranging from the production of semiconductors to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea to human rights abuses in Xinjiang. (Bloomberg)
Updated on Oct 21, 2021 08:21 PM IST
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China on Thursday “firmly rejected” US ambassador nominee Nicholas Burns’ tough comments on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, saying his remarks show a Cold War and zero-sum mentality.

“The remarks of Mr Burns smack of Cold War zero-sum mentality and run counter to facts. China firmly rejects them,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Thursday.

Wang was responding to Burns’ remarks made during his US Senate confirmation hearing hours earlier where he said that the “genocide in Xinjiang”, abuses in Tibet, and bullying of Taiwan must stop.

Calling China, the US’s “most dangerous competitor”, Nicholas Burns said Beijing was “blasting past” its pledge to maintain only a minimum nuclear deterrent.

He added that Washington should work with allies in Europe and elsewhere to build economic leverage.

In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry issued a strong rebuttal to Nicholas Burns’ comments.

“Issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong are purely China’s internal affairs that brook no foreign interference. The accusation of the so-called ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang is an outrageous lie fabricated by a few anti-China scholars in Western countries and US politicians, with the true intention of oppressing and containing China’s development,” Wang Wenbin said.

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“The one-China principle is a political foundation of China-US relations and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory,” the Chinese spokesperson added.

“We advise Mr Burns to be keenly aware of the overall trend of world development and people’s aspirations, learn the real situations of China objectively, view China and China-US ties in a rational manner and avoid underestimating the strong resolve, determination and capability of the Chinese people to defend their rights.” Wang Wenbin said.

Ties between the US and China have been fraught over a range of issues ranging from trade to human rights and transparency over the origins of the coronavirus, which triggered the Covid-19 pandemic.

During a phone conversation in September, President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart, Joe Biden that US’ China policy had resulted in serious difficulties in bilateral ties and runs counter to the fundamental interests of the two countries and the common interests of the world.

Xi Jinping suggested that on the basis of respecting each other’s core concerns and properly managing differences, the two sides “…continue with contact and dialogue, and advance coordination and cooperation on climate change, epidemic prevention and control, economic recovery as well as major international and regional issues”.

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