Chinese Ambassador Warns of 'Disastrous Consequences' if US Takes Hard Line on China

Qin Gang asks Biden to walk back ‘extreme’ policies of Trump administration in first major speech

This photo taken on December 25, 2013 shows then director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department of China Qin Gang speaking during an event in Beijing. - Qin Gang, one of China's most prominent "Wolf Warrior" diplomats, was on July 28, 2021 announced as his nation's new ambassador to the United States. - China OUT (Photo by - / CNS / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by -/CNS/AFP via Getty Images)
September 2, 2021

The Chinese ambassador to the United States warned of "disastrous consequences" for U.S.-China relations if America uses a "Cold War playbook" against China.

"It would be absurd and dangerous to apply the 'Cold War playbook' to today's China-U.S. relations," Qin Gang, who was appointed by Beijing on July 28, said Tuesday in his first major speech as ambassador. "Many countries are reluctant or concerned about being forced by the [United States] to pick sides. I hope American politicians would seriously consider: Does suppressing China really serve their purpose? Does it really meet America's own interests? Who can bear the disastrous consequences to China-U.S. relations and the world? Dealing with China from a position of strength—the Chinese people simply do not accept it."

Qin also called on the Biden administration to reverse the "extreme China policy" of the Trump administration.

The ambassador's speech comes on the heels of similar remarks from senior Chinese officials. President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi panned the United States for escalating tensions to the point of a "Cold War," a conflict which they say China has no interest in fighting.

Qin and other Chinese leaders have repeatedly threatened the United States for interfering with China’s "core interests." Such interests include the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, suppressing the human rights of religious minorities in Tibet, asserting dominance in the South China Sea, and threatening Taiwan's sovereignty.

"The Chinese people value sovereignty and territorial integrity as much as their own lives," said Qin. "There is no room for compromise or backdown on this issue."

Qin’s rhetorical style is commonly known as "wolf warrior" diplomacy, a practice of top Chinese diplomats who combine fierce bluster with appeals to cooperation with Western powers. Qin invoked the need to cooperate on issues such as climate change, which some officials in the Biden administration such as John Kerry continue to push for.