The Chinese government dismissed President Joe Biden’s suggestion that U.S.-China relations could be mended in the near future following an extended period of growing tension between the two countries.
On Sunday, President Biden expressed confidence that relations would be improved “very shortly,” suggesting his administration could lift sanctions and referring to the spy balloon debacle as “silly,” Bloomberg News reported.
However, Chinese officials did not appear impressed by his comments.
“The U.S. side asks for communication on the one side, yet on the other, suppresses and contains China by every possible means,” said Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, per Bloomberg.
“It imposes sanctions on Chinese officials, entities and companies — what is the sincerity and meaning of such communication? The U.S. should roll back sanctions immediately, clear the hurdles and create favorable conditions for dialog,” she continued.
U.S.-China relations appear to be at a nadir after a series of high-profile confrontations.
In August 2022, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made a controversial visit to Taiwan, angering Chinese officials who viewed the visit of such a high-ranking U.S. official to the island country as a provocation.
Though outside Beijing’s control, the Chinese government claims that Taiwan is nothing more than a renegade province that must reunify with the mainland.
In response to Pelosi’s visit, China conducted aggressive military drills around the island, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Then came the purported Chinese spy balloon that flew over the continental United States before being shot down near South Carolina by an air-to-air Sidewinder missile. The Chinese claimed it was merely a weather balloon that got caught up in the jet stream and accused the U.S. government of creating the incident as an excuse to increase pressure on Chinese sovereignty.
Since the incident in early February, media reports claimed that leaked Pentagon documents indicate that U.S. military intelligence was aware of multiple balloons operating in the vicinity of U.S. airspace and naval detachments, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
China has been under sanction by the U.S. government since former President Donald Trump’s administration. Initial sanctions were placed to thwart alleged Chinese espionage and alleged human rights violations of China’s Uyghur minority population, Forbes reported.
More recent sanctions have been enacted in response to China’s apparent support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Further increasing tensions, even individual states have been seeking to limit Chinese nationals’ acquisition of U.S. land and property. State lawmakers in both Florida and Texas filed such bills in their respective legislatures this year.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended a recently passed statute in his state that prohibits most Chinese nationals that maintain a domicile in China and are not permanent residents of the United States from buying real estate or agricultural land, arguing the law is necessary to combat Beijing’s undue influence, according to Bloomberg.
The statute, SB 264, though not yet enacted, is currently being challenged in a federal lawsuit.