• By The Financial District

U.S. Says It Wants China To Play By Rules, Stop Acting Like An Emperor

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will tell China in upcoming talks that while Washington welcomes competition, there needs to be a level playing field and guardrails to ensure ties do not veer into conflict, US officials said, Michael Martina Yew Lun Tian and David Brunnstrom reported for Reuters.

The senior officials, briefing reporters ahead of Sherman's talks in Tianjin with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday, said the world's two largest economies needed responsible ways to manage competition.

"She's going to underscore that we do not want that stiff and sustained competition to veer into conflict," one senior US administration official said ahead of the first high-ranking, face-to-face contact between Washington and Beijing in months as the two sides gauge how they can ease festering ties.

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"The US wants to ensure that there are guardrails and parameters in place to responsibly manage the relationship," he said. "Everyone needs to play by the same rules and on a level playing field."

Sherman is due in Tianjin, southeast of Beijing, on Sunday. Bonnie Glaser, an Asia expert at the German Marshall Fund of the US, said the trips by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as well as diplomatic efforts such as a planned second summit between Biden and leaders from Japan, India and Australia later in the year, may have China feeling hemmed in.

"The Chinese are undoubtedly concerned that the US is making some progress in forging coalitions aimed at pressuring China," she said.

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The Biden administration has sought to rally partners against what it sees as increasingly coercive Chinese policies, including treatment of minority Muslims in its Xinjiang region that Washington says amounts to genocide. China denies that. But a day ahead of her arrival, China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, warned that China did not accept the US taking a "superior" position in the relationship.

"If the US has not learned how to deal with other countries on an equal footing, then we have the responsibility to work with the international community to teach the US this lesson," he said, in remarks published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on its website.


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