NAGOYA: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini exchange views just before a group photograph at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Saturday.—Reuters
NAGOYA: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini exchange views just before a group photograph at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Saturday.—Reuters

BEIJING: The United States is the world’s biggest source of instability and its politicians are going around the world baselessly smearing China, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said on Saturday in a stinging attack at a G20 meeting in Japan.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have nose-dived amid a bitter trade war — which they are trying to resolve — and arguments over human rights, Hong Kong and the US support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

Meeting Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on the sidelines of a G20 foreign ministers meeting in the Japanese city of Nagoya, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi did not hold back in his criticism of the United States.

“The United States is broadly engaged in unilateralism and protectionism, and is damaging multilateralism and the multilateral trading system. It has already become the world’s biggest destabilising factor,” China’s Foreign Ministry cited Wang as saying.

Wang Yi says no force can stop his country’s development and growth

The United States has, for political purposes, used the machine of state to suppress legitimate Chinese businesses and has baselessly laid charges against them, which is an act of bullying, he added.

“Certain US politicians have smeared China everywhere in the world, but have not produced any evidence.” The United States has also used its domestic law to “crudely interfere” in China’s internal affairs, trying to damage “one country, two systems” and Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity, he added.

China was incensed this week after the US House of Representatives passed two bills to back protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights, with President Donald Trump expected to sign them into law, despite delicate trade talks with Beijing.

Beijing runs Hong Kong under a “one country, two systems” model whereby the territory enjoys freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, like a free press, though many people in Hong Kong fear Beijing is eroding this. The government denies that.

Wang said that China’s development and growth was an inevitable trend of history that no force could stop. “There is no way out for the zero-sum games of the United States. Only win-win cooperation between China and the United States is the right path.”

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the presence of US soldiers on Japanese soil was hindering closer ties between Tokyo and Russia.

There are some 54,000 American personnel stationed in Japan as part of a mutual security pact between the two countries, according to the US military.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 meeting here, the Russian minister said these troops were “of course a problem on the road to improving the quality of Russia-Japanese relations”.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2019