China’s new foreign minister slams U.S. ‘malicious confrontation’

“If the United States does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path … there will surely be conflict and confrontation and who will bear the catastrophic consequences?” Qin said.

Qin hinted at the potential for nuclear conflict between the two countries by saying that those policies could risk “the future of humanity.” And he implicitly referenced Biden’s comments in his State of the Union speech last month that the United States seeks “competition, not conflict” with China by accusing the U.S. of “not fair competition, but malicious confrontation.”

Qin’s uncompromising tone echoes that of his patron, Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping.

On Monday, Xi accused the U.S. and other Western countries of “all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing Chinese state media. That rhetoric also casts doubt on the sustainability of Xi and President Joe Biden’s agreement in their meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in November to try to stem the slide in U.S.-China ties.

Bilateral ties have been battered by the discovery and subsequent destruction of a Chinese spy balloon over the continental U.S. in February. Biden administration warnings last month that the Chinese government is considering providing lethal weaponry to Russia in its war against Ukraine have further roiled relations. And the conclusion of a Department of Energy rep