A senior Chinese diplomat has urged U.S. officials to stop making negative remarks or behaving in ways that would harm bilateral relations, and he called for joint efforts to bring the relations back on the right track.
Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang made the remark in a video meeting on Thursday with a group of U.S. Congress members, including Ami Bera, chair of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation under the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to a statement issued on Sunday.
In the face of the urgent challenge posed by COVID-19, the United States should immediately stop its defamation of China and facilitate bilateral cooperation to tackle the pandemic, Zheng said.
China has always remained open and transparent on its disease control efforts, briefed the international community in a timely manner and done its best to provide humanitarian aid to other countries, he said.
China sincerely hopes the U.S. will overcome COVID-19 soon and stands ready to cooperate with the U.S. to control the disease, but firmly opposes the U.S. stigmatizing and deflecting blame to it, Zheng said.
Pointing out that China-U.S. ties are at an important juncture, Zheng said the two countries must work to maintain and stabilize their ties.
The U.S. has been provoking China for some time by interfering in its domestic affairs and undermining its interests, while some U.S. politicians have been attacking China and distorting and denying the history of bilateral ties over the past five decades, Zheng said.
Such erroneous behavior has led to an extremely complex and severe situation in bilateral ties, he said.
The Chinese government has taken, and will continue to take legitimate and necessary steps to uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as to keep China-U.S. ties stable, Zheng added.
Cooperation between China and the U.S. serves the interests of the two countries and the world, while confrontation between them will only lead to disasters, Zheng said, adding that people of insight must work to stop a handful of U.S. officials from "disrupting bilateral ties wantonly".
The two countries must always stick to cooperation, manage their differences in a constructive way, observe the three China-U.S. joint communiques and respect each other's core interests and major concerns, he said.
China's internal and foreign policies have always remained open and transparent, Zheng emphasized, adding that China today is more able to deal with risks and challenges than ever before, and its economy is turning for the better.
China continues to encourage mutually beneficial cooperation between Chinese and U.S. companies, Zheng said, urging the U.S. to stop its crackdown on Chinese companies and its "hysterical anti-China clamor".
He emphasized that China is committed to developing ties with the U.S. featuring non-conflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Through development, China seeks to enable its 1.4 billion population to live a better life and contribute to global peace and prosperity, instead of replacing any other country, Zheng said, adding that China has no interest in interfering in U.S. domestic affairs, and it never has.
Urging the U.S. to increase contact and talks with China at all levels and maintain normal personnel exchanges, Zheng said China hopes to strengthen talks with members of the U.S. Congress to deepen understanding and expand common ground.
The members of the U.S. Congress who attended the meeting said the stable development of bilateral ties is in line with the interests of the people of the two countries and the world.
Though the two countries uphold different values, have different political systems and have differences over many issues, they should enhance mutual understanding through candid dialogue, manage their differences and expand cooperation in tackling COVID-19 and trade.
The U.S. Congress hopes to maintain communications with China, they said.