The U.S. is pushing back on the idea it wants to suppress China and said it doesn’t want to separate the two economies, according to a State Department spokesperson’s comments.
The spokesperson was responding to a CNBC request for comment on Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s remarks Tuesday. Qin claimed U.S. calls for “establishing guardrails” on the relationship meant that China should not react.
Qin also said that the U.S. needed to “hit the brake” to prevent conflict with China.
“We have made it clear we do not seek to contain China or have a new Cold War,” the U.S. State Department spokesperson said.
The spokesperson pointed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s comments last year that said the U.S. doesn’t seek to stop China from growing its economy or “advancing the interests of its people.”
“He also said we do not want to sever China’s economy from ours, though China is pursuing asymmetric decoupling,” the spokesperson said.
Blinken previously defined asymmetric decoupling as “seeking to make China less dependent on the world and the world more dependent on China.”
Beijing has accelerated efforts to boost its self-sufficiency in tech and food supply. The country remains a major — if not the largest — trading partner of much of the world, from Taiwan to Singapore, Germany and the U.S.
The Biden administration late last year tightened restrictions on U.S. businesses’ and individuals’ ability to work with Chinese partners on high-end semiconductors. The administration is reportedly mulling limits on U.S. investment in advanced Chinese technology, primarily military-related.
Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated in the last few years. In a sign of some stabilization in the relationship, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden met in person in November.
However, the appearance of an alleged Chinese spy balloon over the U.S. forced Blinken to postpone his trip to Beijing last month. China claims the balloon was for weather research and got blown off course.