China’s envoy to the U.S. warned on Wednesday that the two countries must resolve their trade differences before adding that forces are working to further separate the two superpowers.
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While not providing any specific details, Ambassador Cui Tiankai spoke to the audience at a dinner hosted by the U.S.-China Business Council, emphasizing the crossroads the two countries face as trade frictions heat up. However, Cui did provide some optimism by stating it’s still possible for China and the U.S. to return to a better relationship.
``At the same time, we must be alert that some destructive forces are taking advantage of the ongoing trade friction (through) extreme rhetoric such as 'decoupling,' the 'new Cold War,' and clash of civilizations,''' Cui said.
Cui advocated for both U.S. and Chinese companies to stand up to those politicians who `spread hostility and even create conflict between us,'' while taking a moment to denounce the “fake news” regarding the deadly protests ongoing in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, home to China’s Uighur Muslim population. U.S. officials have said in the past the Uighur’s have suffered human rights abuses.
Meanwhile, Cui’s statements come only a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said an interim trade agreement between the two countries could likely be delayed until the U.S. presidential election next year.
The trade war between China and the U.S. has persisted now for 17 months, with Washington looking to put an end to what it says is Chinese efforts to steal U.S. technology in a power move to take over the global marketplace.
At the same time, anti-government protests in Hong Kong continue to divide the two countries on issues of human rights, with Beijing considering U.S. actions as an interference into its national issues.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor for a bill that would force Trump and his administration to take a tougher stance on China’s human rights abuses on Uighur Muslim minorities, with China warning a day later that such legislation will impact the two countries cooperation and making an end to the trade war nearly impossible in the short term.
Cui didn’t touch on those specifics, but did say that reports on the Uighurs and Hong Kong demonstrations have been widely exaggerated in Western news media.
``Facts are facts no matter how much fake news is generated,'' Cui added.