China’s foreign minister on Tuesday warned of “conflict and confrontation” with the United States if Washington does not “hit the brakes” on its current approach to relations with Beijing.
“If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at the National People’s Congress, per CNN.
He added that the U.S. call for “establishing guardrails and not seeking conflict simply means that China should not respond in word or in action when attacked,” according to CNBC.
Qin’s comments come as U.S.-China relations remain strained amid a series of controversies, including the suspected Chinese spy balloon that hovered in U.S. airspace last month. The U.S. military shot down the balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it spent a week traversing the country and reportedly surveilling strategic sites.
Qin accused the U.S. of overreacting to the balloon incident and creating “a diplomatic crisis that could have been avoided,” CNN reported. Beijing has maintained that the high-flying object was a weather balloon that was blown off course.
“The result is the U.S. and China policy has entirely deviated from the rational and sound track,” he added, per CNBC.