The deterioration of China-U.S. relations amid the COVID-19 pandemic is not only greatly hindering bilateral ties but also undermining confidence in the global economy, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said.
"Today, the China-U.S. relationship is going in the wrong direction, described by some as in a 'free fall,'" said Cui in a keynote speech at a webinar on issues related to China-U.S. relations at the invitation of President John R. Allen of the Brookings Institution on August 13.
"Over the years, it has never been short of problems and difficulties, but alarmingly, there are attempts now to negate what has been built up so painstakingly by generations of Chinese and Americans over the decades and to deliberately push our two countries into conflict and confrontation," Cui said.
"All these are happening in the context of the raging pandemic and the consequently flagging global economy. They are happening when international cooperation is urgently needed, especially between major countries, and this situation is greatly hindering our cooperation," he said.
"The deterioration of China-U.S. relations also undermines people's confidence in the global economy, with serious consequences for both countries and the world," the ambassador said.
"It is natural for major countries to have differences and even competition, but they do not justify confrontation," he said. "Today, what pushes major countries to cooperate far outweighs what drives them apart. Stigmatization will not make anybody great. Ideological crusades will not solve any problem in today's world and is doomed to fail."
"Some people here and elsewhere are obsessed with great-power competition and strategic rivalry. But if we have a close look at the three major international crises in the 21st century, namely, the '9.11' terrorist attack, the global financial crisis and the current pandemic, they are all of a strategic nature, but not in the traditional sense of the word," Cui said.
"None of them could be resolved with the tool box of great-power competition. The world has changed," he said.