“China has no intention to change, still less replace the United States. 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 said.
The official made the remarks amid escalating tensions between the two countries and as the United States continues to express support for the independence of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Wang’s statements were also interpreted as a response to increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Washington.
Top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have argued that China poses the greatest threat to the Western world. According to Wang, this rhetoric is “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.”
As The Washington Examiner noted, President Donald Trump’s administration appears to be adopting a more aggressive posture toward China. Last week, the administration announced that 18 torpedoes capable of sinking Chinese ships will be sold to Taiwan.
In addition, Trump and his allies have blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the country’s ruling Communist Party engaged in a cover-up, withholding vital information about COVID-19 from the rest of the world.
Wang dismissed the suggestion that China has anything to do with the spread of COVID-19, stating that American politicians are promoting “conspiracy theories” and trying to “slander” China.
For the Republican Party, anti-China rhetoric appears to be a matter of political strategy. With the 2020 elections fast approaching, the GOP is reportedly looking to intensify its attacks on the Asian superpower amid the coronavirus pandemic. Republican candidates across the nation have been running advertisement campaigns critical of China. According to polls, Republican voters view China as America’s greatest enemy.
Trump has repeatedly blamed China for the COVID-19 outbreak, recently stating that the country’s government is to blame for “mass Worldwide killing.” Furthermore, prominent conservative figures have floated an evidence-free theory that the virus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have all openly called for a more confrontational approach to China, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham suggesting that Beijing needs to be sanctioned.