As US officials visit China, Beijing urges Washington to stop “demonizing” China.

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As US officials visit China, Beijing urges Washington to stop “demonizing” China.

On Monday, Beijing urged Washington to cease “demonizing” China as tensions rose ahead of talks with the highest-ranking US envoy to visit under President Joe Biden’s administration.

Wendy Sherman, the Deputy Secretary of State, is in Tianjin, China, for the first significant meeting between the world’s leading economies since mudslinging between the countries’ top diplomats in Anchorage in March.

Sherman’s trip intends to find “guardrails” as relations between the two countries worsen on a range of issues, including cybersecurity and tech superiority, as well as human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

In a transcript published by China’s foreign ministry early Monday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng told Sherman, “The hope may be that by demonizing China, the US might somehow… blame China for its own structural difficulties.”

The statement paraphrased Xie as saying, “We encourage the United States to reconsider its highly wrong thinking and destructive policies,” adding that Washington sees China as a “invented opponent.”

Relations are also at a “standstill,” according to Xie, with “serious difficulties” ahead.

In comments reminiscent of the fiery discussion between Washington and Beijing’s top diplomats Antony Blinken and Yang Jiechi in Alaska, he said that Chinese people see the US’ “adversarial tone” as a “thinly veiled attempt to limit and suppress China.”

Sherman will also meet with Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister.

She expressed her “heartfelt condolences” to flood victims in Henan region on Sunday, tweeting that she had spoken with US firms about “the issues they’re facing in China.”

Last week, the US stated that it hoped to utilize the “honest” talks to demonstrate Beijing “what responsible and healthy competition looks like,” but that it did not want the relationship to become tense.

The trip on July 25-26 is devoid of the accoutrements of a full-fledged formal visit. Sherman will not travel to Beijing, but will instead spend two days in Tianjin, a northeastern port city, beginning on Sunday.

The trip is largely regarded as a warm-up for a possible meeting between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as US-China relations continue to deteriorate with little promise of change.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi promised to “teach the US a lesson” in treating other countries equally the day before Sherman arrived in China, signaling a rough start to negotiations.

In a statement released Saturday, he was cited as saying, “China will not accept any country’s self-proclaimed superiority.”

The only one is John Kerry, the former Secretary of State who is now the United States’ climate envoy. Brief News from Washington Newsday.

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