Sino-U.S. relations experienced a "spring chill" at the beginning of 2010, said Zhao Qizheng, spokesman of the third session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Tuesday.
Zhao made the remarks in response to a question about China-U.S. relations at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.
He said two events happened during the first 20 days of 2010 that chilled the China-U.S. ties, referring to the Obama administration's arms sales plan to Taiwan and President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama despite strong opposition from China.
"These two events damaged China's core interests," Zhao told hundreds of domestic and foreign journalists. "The China-U.S. relations are like changes in weather, from sunny days to cloudy days, and this has aroused Chinese people's concerns."
"The responsibility of the setback of the Sino-U.S. relations lies with the U.S. side," he said. "This is like playing tennis, the United States served the ball and what China did is simply strike the ball back."
The annual full session of the CPPCC National Committee, China's top political advisory body, will open Wednesday.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2010)