|Defends Hong Kong electoral system overhaul|
|Warns US over Taiwan, denounces Xinjiang accusations|
China yesterday urged the United States to remove "unreasonable" curbs on cooperation as soon as possible and work together on issues like climate change, while accusing Washington of bringing chaos in the name of spreading democracy.
Last week US President Joe Biden singled out a "growing rivalry with China" as a key challenge facing the United States, with his top diplomat describing the Asian country as "the biggest geopolitical test" of this century.
Speaking at his annual news conference, the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, struck a tough line even as he outlined where the world's two biggest economies could work together.
Questioned about recent US-China frictions over Taiwan, Xinjiang and the disputed South China Sea, Wang said Beijing "will never accept baseless accusations and smears".
The United States had used democracy and human rights as a basis for arbitrarily interfering with other countries' affairs, he said. "The US should realise this as soon as possible, otherwise the world will continue to experience instability."
Wang added that differences between China and the United States must be managed carefully, the two sides must advocate healthy competition not zero-sum finger-pointing, and that areas like climate change and fighting the pandemic were where they could cooperate.
The United States and China are at odds over influence in the Indo-Pacific region, Beijing's economic practices, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights in China's Xinjiang region.
Wang warned that on Chinese-claimed Taiwan there was no room for compromise.
During Trump's administration, the United States levied a series of sanctions against China and its officials over Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Beijing's economic policies, which have not been lifted under the new administration.
Asked about Uighurs' genocide in Xinjiang, he said: "The so-called 'genocide' in Xinjiang is ridiculously absurd. It is a rumour with ulterior motives and a complete lie."
He also defended Beijing's controversial proposal to introduce new veto powers on Hong Kong's legislative elections as "lawful, just and reasonable".
Legislation to allow China's communist rulers to vet all election candidates in Hong Kong was put forward Friday at the opening of the nation's rubber-stamp parliament.