US-China relationship one of 'strong competition', says White House after Beijing urges Joe Biden to lift sanctions

White House press secretary Jen Psaki made the comments after China urged the US to stop interfering in the country's internal affairs

Press Trust of India February 23, 2021 10:35:32 IST
US-China relationship one of 'strong competition', says White House after Beijing urges Joe Biden to lift sanctions

Representational image. AFP

Washington: America's relationship with China is one of "strong competition" and the Biden administration will work in close coordination with partners and allies to make sure that it is coming from a position of strength, the White House has said, a day after Beijing urged the US to stop interfering in its internal affairs and lift trade sanctions.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the comments on Monday while responding to a question on a statement made by Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the China-US ties.

Wang said that the US should stop "smearing" the ruling Communist Party of China and its one-party political system, lift sanctions on trade and halt Washington's backing of "separatist forces in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

He also said that the Biden administration should adjust the hardline policy pursued by former President Donald Trump towards Beijing to check its growing influence.

At the White House briefing, Psaki said, "there is, of course, a review of our tariffs and the tariffs that were put in place. I don't have any update on that at this point in time.

"We believe the relationship with China is one of strong competition. We want to come to that relationship from a position of strength. That means working in close coordination with our partners and allies around the world: Europeans, other partners in the region, also with Democrats and Republicans in Congress. And it also means we want to do work at home, and focus on doing work at home, to make sure we are coming to that from a position of strength," Psaki said.

The relations between China and the US are at an all time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.

At the Capitol, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the US Congress is dedicated to holding China accountable for its abuses, including targeting Uyghurs, Tibetans, activists and vulnerable communities on the mainland, and now, Hong Kong.

"We must put all options on the table to hold China accountable," the top Democrat said.

Last week, more than 15 legislations were introduced in Congress against China.

The United States Congress has long been united on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to holding China accountable for its repression and abuses, including targeting Uyghurs, the Tibetan people, human rights activists and vulnerable communities on the mainland, and now, Hong Kong. We must ensure that all oppressed and persecuted by Beijing know that they have not been forgotten, she said.

The Chinese government must know that the world is watching its strangulation of human rights and that we must put all options on the table for holding China accountable, she said in a statement on the Chinese government's ongoing trial of democracy leader Martin Lee, along with eight other pro-democracy leaders.

If we do not speak out clearly for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights anywhere in the world, Pelosi said.

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