Appealing to ‘kind angels’ China sets upbeat tone with Biden administration By Reuters

Saudi crown prince meets with US presidential adviser Kushner: state news agency

© Reuters. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying attends a press conference in Beijing

By Cate Cadell BEIJING (Reuters) – China took an optimistic tone toward President Joe Biden‘s new administration on Thursday, saying “kind angels can triumph over the forces of evil” and downplaying early irritants as a result of an atmosphere poisoned by Donald Trump‘s tenure in office. . Bilateral relations dramatically worsened during Trump’s term. Biden, who took office on Wednesday, is expected to keep up the pressure on Beijing but with a more traditional and multilateral approach. “In recent years, the Trump administration, especially (former Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, has laid too many mines that need to be removed, burned too many bridges that need to be rebuilt, damaged too many roads that need to be repaired,” said the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying. “I believe that if both countries work hard, kind angels can triumph over the forces of evil,” he said in a daily briefing on Thursday, using a phrase that was adopted by state media. Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington attended Biden’s inauguration with an official invitation, a first indicating that the new president’s administration would continue Trump’s increased support for the democratic island that Beijing claims to be part of China. Also on Wednesday, the new Biden administration criticized China’s move to impose sanctions on former Trump administration officials, including Pompeo, minutes after Biden was sworn in, as “unproductive and cynical.” When asked about both, Hua defended the sanctions and reaffirmed China’s opposition to any official contact between the United States and Taiwan. He said that China will fight against any movement that undermines its sovereignty or interests. But Hua, who said she had seen the unveiling on CNN, also repeatedly urged cooperation and understanding. “President Biden also mentioned in his inauguration speech that Americans have a lot to heal, a lot to restore. This is exactly what Sino-US relations need,” he said. Many commented on Chinese social media Thursday that they hoped Biden’s inauguration would signal an improvement in bilateral ties. Others were less optimistic, fearing that Trump’s tough stance on China would persist in the new administration. “No matter how well China acts, they always look at the Chinese with partiality. So even though Biden beat Trump, it will still have the same effect,” Liu Rui, 32, told Reuters on the streets of Beijing on Thursday. Some lamented Trump’s departure and said the standoff between the two countries had helped push China’s agenda forward. “In fact, I wish Trump could continue his presidency,” said a 78-year-old man surnamed Liu. “Why? To make it easier for China to overtake the United States.”

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