Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Hungarian counterpart on Monday that decoupling with the US was â€œunfeasible and unreasonableâ€ and called on Europe to resist â€œunilateral bullyingâ€.
Wang made the remarks during a meeting in southern China with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto before leaving on a week-long visit to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany.
In his first trip abroad since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Wang is expected to appeal to European leaders to remain open to Chinese firms as the US ramps up pressure on tech and communications companies like TikTok and Huawei.
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Wang said China and Europe should not allow talk of decoupling to disturb the regular operation of global industrial chains, adding that the continent should push back against unilateral bullying in the economy.
â€œAs independent countries, of course we must protect our economic sovereignty, including digital network sovereignty, but this does not mean we should close off our markets to one another,â€ said Wang, according to a statement from Chinaâ€™s foreign ministry.
Wang praised Hungaryâ€™s assertion that Huaweiâ€™s 5G network posed no national security threat. In early August, Washington issued sanctions against Huawei that analysts say may cripple the company, claiming the worldâ€™s leading 5G provider could be used by Beijing to spy on other countries.
In talks held in the port city of Beihai, in the southern region of Guangxi, Wang said China and Hungary would push forward cooperation in eastern Europe on the Belt and Road Initiative. He also vowed to stand for multilateralism in the face of â€œthe constant challenge of unilateralism against the international orderâ€.
Wang said American efforts to decouple from China went against market norms, and against the interest of companies, which would â€œboomerangâ€ back to hurt the United States.
â€œThe so-called â€˜decouplingâ€™ argument is unfeasible and unreasonable,â€ Wang said. â€œIt is a dead-end doomed to go nowhere.
â€œAny attempt to decouple from China is to decouple from the future largest economy in the world.â€
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese counterpart Liu He held a phone conversation on Tuesday morning and agreed to continue to implement the phase one trade deal signed in January, which binds China to buying an additional US$77 billion worth of goods from the US this year compared with 2017 levels.