Chinese foreign minister takes firm tone, calls for ‘non-interference’ between China and the U.S.

Chinese foreign minister takes firm tone, calls for ‘non-interference’ between China and the U.S.

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BEIJING — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday that the U.S. needs to remove “unreasonable restrictions” for the two countries’ relationship to move forward under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Wang’s remarks come as tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last few years under former President Donald Trump, whose term ended in January. So far, the Biden administration has maintained a tough position on China — calling the country a more assertive “competitor” — and raised concerns about Beijing’s stance around Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

China’s central government considers those issues part of its domestic matters.

“Speaking of China-U.S. relations, I believe first of all both sides need to abide by the principle of non-interference in each others’ internal affairs,” Wang said. That’s according to an official English translation of his Mandarin-language remarks at a press conference held alongside the “Two Sessions” annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing, the country’s biggest political event of the year.

Wang also called for the U.S. to “remove all its unreasonable restrictions on bilateral cooperation as early as possible” and “not create new obstacles.”

But he did not specify what the restrictions were. In a speech last month Wang had called for the new U.S. administration to remove tariffs and sanctions, particularly on China’s technology companies.

Citing national security concerns, Trump sanctioned dozens of Chinese companies, most prominently telecommunications giant Huawei. The company has suffered as a result, falling from the number one smartphone vendor globally to sixth place last year.