Chinese state media warned that some damage to Sino-US ties is beyond repair” in the face of a new wave of counter-China measures by the Trump administration, with an ugly Twitter spat between the US senator and the Chinese reporter underlining the rising rancour.
The government-backed newspaper China Daily said that Washington’s decision to limit visitor visas for Chinese Communist Party members and their families and the ban on Xinjiang cotton imports are “worry signs.”
“Even if the incoming administration has any intention of easing the tensions that have been sown and are still being sown, some damage is simply beyond repair, as the sitting President of the United States intends,” the newspaper said.
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have plummeted to their lowest point in decades over issues such as trade, technology, security, human rights, and the Covid-19.
Bilateral ties are being shifted to a “dangerous path,” according to the Chinese Daily editorial.
The Chinese ambassador to the United States has become the latest among senior Beijing officials to signal a desire to re-establish an increasingly confrontational relationship as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.
“There is always a difference between the two countries. None of them justifies confrontation and war, cold or hot,” said Cui on Twitter Thursday. “With sufficient mutual respect and mutual understanding, we are able to manage these differences in such a way that they do not destroy the whole relationship.”
It is not clear, however, whether the Biden administration will bring about a dramatic shift.
This week the Democrat told the New York Times that he would not, for now, remove the existing tariffs set by the Trump administration against China.
Legislation targeting China or Chinese officials on charges of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and crackdowns against pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have also won broad bipartisan support in Congress, suggesting that current policies toward China remain in power.
Thursday’s exchange of insults between US Senator Marsha Blackburn and China Daily journalist Chen Weihua underscored persistent animosity.
Blackburn, a Republican and one of China’s most outspoken critics, said without any evidence on Twitter that China “has a history of 5,000 years of cheating and stealing.”
Chen replied to her tweet, accusing Blackburn of being the most “racist and ignorant” U.S. senator he saw and calling her a “lifetime bitch.”