Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday accused the U.S. of fomenting “a new Cold War,” suggesting that tensions between the nations were driven by Washington’s “wishful thinking of changing China.”
“China has no intention to change, still less replace the United States,” Wang said at a news conference Sunday, according to the Washington Post. “It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernization.”
Wang went on to say American officials “are taking China-U.S. relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War.”
“This dangerous attempt to turn back the will of history will undo the fruits of decades-long China-U.S. cooperation, dampen America’s own development prospects and put world stability and prosperity in jeopardy,” he said.
Wang also accused U.S. politicians of seeking to “stigmatize” China in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, believed to have originated in a wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.
“It’s most regrettable that while coronavirus is still out there, a political virus is still spreading in the United States and, jumping at any opportunity to attack and slander China, some politicians ignore the basic facts and make up countless lies and conspiracy theories concerning China,” he said.
U.S. officials have both criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the outbreak and made unproven allegations that it was deliberately created in a bioweapons lab. It was unclear which Wang was referring to. A spokesman for Wang has himself spread conspiracy theories about the U.S. creating the virus.
Meanwhile, the Global Times, an organ of China’s ruling Communist Party, said Sunday that Beijing is “considering punitive countermeasures” against U.S. politicians who have sought to hold China legally and financially accountable for the virus, including Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) and Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyThune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race State watchdog to launch review of Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal Juan Williams: Trump's toxicity fuels fear of violence MORE (R-Mo.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonIs the Navy totally at sea? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats MORE (R-Ark.).