When China Says ‘No’ to a ‘Friendship’ with America
A year ago, when China said it would stop sending US military aid to its military-dominated neighbor, it signaled a possible move toward better relations with Washington.
But the United States has since pulled out of the trade pact, and Beijing has signaled a willingness to reopen the relationship if Washington signs a new one.
This week, China’s Foreign Ministry announced that it would no longer give US troops or equipment to a Chinese-backed paramilitary group, the People’s Liberation Army.
The People’s Republic of China says the paramilitary group supports China’s sovereignty.
But some in Washington see Beijing’s response to the new American sanctions as a sign of its increasing isolation.
US President Donald Trump has called China’s actions “very, very unfair.”
But the US has had to defend its diplomatic relationship with Beijing from the rhetoric and threats of China’s economic and military rivals.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, met in Washington earlier this month.
Trump and Tillerson also spoke last week by phone on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
“China has become the largest trading partner in the world, the second largest, after the United Kingdom,” Tillerson said.
“And the United Nations has said it is a non-member observer state of the United Nation, and I think we’ve had a very good relationship with China for a long time.”
But Tillerson said that China’s military aggression is not a sign that the US-China relationship is stable.
“I don’t think it’s an excuse for us to sit there and say we’re going to just go back to the status quo, which is we’re not going to get along,” Tillerson told reporters.
“What we’ve seen is a very serious escalation of China in its behavior that’s been very dangerous, very disruptive, and we don’t want that.”
Tillerson said the US and China need to find a way to find common ground on some of the world’s most volatile issues.
“We’re going through this period of change, and what we need to do is find a solution that’s going to make our countries stronger,” Tillerson added.
Tillerson also told reporters that China is “taking actions that are very, very dangerous” and “have no basis in international law, no basis at all.”