China foreign minister lashes out at US, but calls for better relations

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has lashed out at the United States while calling on Washington to help mend bilateral ties.

Qin spoke to reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the National People's Congress in Beijing. It was his first news conference since he was appointed foreign minister in December.

Qin laid out China's diplomatic policies under President Xi Jinping, who is in his third term as the country's leader.

He issued a warning to the US administration of President Joe Biden, saying that although the United States insists it is in competition with China and not seeking conflict, it means to contain and suppress China in all respects.

Still, Qin said China would pursue a sound and stable relationship with the US and aims to jointly seek a correct path that would benefit both countries and the world.

On the issue of Taiwan, Qin said the matter is for the Chinese people to decide and that no country has a right to intervene.

He called the issue the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations and urged the US to stop using Taiwan and oppose Taiwan's independence if it really wants peace across the Taiwan Strait.

Qin also warned Japan not to take part in a new Cold War aimed at containing China, saying bilateral relations will only suffer new wounds when the old ones are yet to be healed.

He called on Tokyo to strengthen bilateral cooperation and give momentum and energy to global economic recovery.

Qin also referred to the Japanese government's plan to release treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean.

He urged the Japanese side to properly handle this matter in a responsible manner, describing it as a major issue vital not only to Japan but also to the marine environment and human health.