The United States should “better manage” its own affairs and stop meddling in those of other nations, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.
“Now is the time for China to ask the United States not to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” the minister was quoted as saying in a transcript released on Saturday by the foreign ministry in Beijing of the joint press conference he held in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
“The National People’s Congress [China’s rubber-stamp parliament] has never discussed formulating bills targeting the internal affairs of the United States, but the US Congress has frequently introduced various bills on the internal affairs of China,” he said.
“The US has gone too far and stretched its hands too long!” Wang said. “We suggest some people in the US better manage their own affairs first, abide by the principles of international relations and stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.”
His comments came after US tech company Microsoft said on Thursday that in recent weeks it had detected cyberattacks from China, Russia and Iran that were designed to interfere in the US presidential election in November.
Chinese hackers had attacked people associated with presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign and other important figures from the international affairs community, Microsoft said, adding that the Chinese hacking group Zirconium had launched thousands of attacks between March and September, resulting in nearly 150 compromises.
US-China relations are at their lowest point in decades, with the two countries locked in a range of bitter disputes on everything from trade and technology, to the revocation of journalists’ visas and the closure of consulates.
In contrast, the strategic partnership between China and Russia had “strong resilience” and was an “important stabilising force” given the global volatility created by the coronavirus pandemic, Wang said, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin had spoken four times over the telephone this year and had several exchanges of correspondence.
As the pandemic had been gradually brought under control, 90 per cent of cooperative projects between China and Russia had been restarted, and the two sides were discussing ways to help the cross-border movement of people and goods, Wang said.
Beijing was also keen to increase collaboration with Moscow under its Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Eurasian Partnership.
In a veiled reference to the US, Wang said: “We oppose the irresponsible actions of ignoring the coronavirus while spreading a ‘political virus’, and aim to create a clean political and public opinion environment for global joint efforts against the virus.
“In the face of a ‘political virus’ that is more sinister than the epidemic, both China and Russia uphold an objective and fair stance to build a fortress that no lies can break.”