Beijing warns Washington against ‘McCarthy-style paranoia’

Updated 10 Jul 2020

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Beijing and Washington have been sparring over a slew of issues. — AP/File
Beijing and Washington have been sparring over a slew of issues. — AP/File

BEIJING: China’s foreign minister warned the United States on Thursday against “McCarthy-style paranoia” as tensions rise between the two superpowers.

Beijing and Washington have been sparring over a slew of issues, from a new national security law in Hong Kong to trade and US criticism of China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The current US policy toward China is based on strategic misjudgements...and McCarthy-style paranoia,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, referring to US senator Joseph McCarthy, who led an anti-communist crusade in his country in the 1950s.

In a pre-recorded speech to a China-US think tank forum, at which former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger also spoke, Wang warned that “artificially creating various China threats may eventually lead to self-fulfilling prophecies”.

The comments came weeks after Wang said relations with the United States were “on the brink of a new Cold War”, fuelled in part by tensions over the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump has accused Beijing of a lack of transparency, and pushed the unproven theory that the virus may have leaked from a Chinese maximum-security laboratory.

“The United States should immediately stop politicising the epidemic... and work with China to promote global cooperation on fighting the virus,” Wang said.

But Wang said China was still willing to resume dialogue at all levels to resolve differences. “China and the United States should not seek to transform each other, but should jointly explore ways for peaceful coexistence of different systems,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2020