A top Chinese diplomat laid out “red lines” on Monday for President Joe Biden’s administration to avoid crossing with China, including interfering with matters in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, where the U.S. has accused China of genocide against the ethnic minority Uyghurs.
In a video address to the National Committee on United States-China Relations in New York, Yang Jiechi, the director of China’s Foreign Affairs Commission, said the U.S. should adhere to the One-China Principle, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of Chinese territory, and “should stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang,” referring to the issues as China’s “internal affairs.”
“These issues concern China’s core interests, national dignity, as well as the sensitivities of its 1.4 billion people,” Yang said. “They constitute a red line which must not be crossed.”
Yang said “any trespassing would undermine U.S.-China relations and the United States’ own interests.
Yang said some differences between the U.S. and China may arise, but said each country should commit to not meddling in the other’s internal affairs.
“China never meddles in the internal affairs of the United States, including its elections. China never exports its development model or seeks ideological confrontation. China has no intention to challenge or replace the U.S. position in the world or carve out a sphere of influence,” Yang said.
Yang said China “likewise” expects the U.S. to honor its commitment to the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and strictly abide by the One-China principle, which recognizes Taiwan as a part of Chinese territory, rather than an independent nation.
During his remarks, Yang said, “For the past four years, the Trump administration adopted misguided policies against China, plunging the relationship into its most difficult period since the establishment of diplomatic ties,”
Last year, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had relaxed rules concerning U.S. diplomatic communications with Taiwanese officials. The Trump administration also condemned China’s legislative takeover of Hong Kong and, in the last day of the Trump administration, labeled the Chinese treatment of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang province as “genocide.“
During his confirmation hearing, Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he agreed with the outgoing Trump administration’s assessment of Chinese genocide in Xinjiang.
The Biden administration has also made some early gestures of support for Taiwan, vowing to strengthen ties with the island nation despite the One-China policy and ongoing threats against Taiwan from China.
Yang called on the Biden administration to return U.S.-China relations to a “predictable and constructive track of development.”