WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The Chinese ambassador to Washington said on Thursday (Oct 1) that China's relations with the United States were facing "severe difficulties" and the two countries should lose no time in putting them on the right track.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai told a virtual ceremony to mark China's National Day that Beijing was willing to develop relations with Washington with "goodwill and sincerity."
"The China-US relationship is experiencing severe difficulties rarely seen in the past 41 years of diplomatic ties," Mr Cui said.
He said there were those who were trying to stoke up economic decoupling of the two countries and "incite ideological confrontation and a new Cold War."
"This seriously undermines the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people. ... We believe that a sound and stable China-US relationship is in the interests of both countries," he said.
"We are willing to develop our relations with the US with goodwill and sincerity, and the two countries should lose no time in taking bilateral relations onto the right track, of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation."
Mr Cui's comments come at a time when China-US relations have sunk to the lowest point in decades in the run-up to President Donald Trump's Nov 3 re-election bid.
The world's two biggest economies have clashed over issues ranging from trade, technological and security rivalry to human rights and the coronavirus, which emerged in China.
In an address to the UN General Assembly last week, Mr Trump demanded China be held accountable for having "unleashed" Covid-19 on the world, while Chinese President Xi Jinping called for enhanced cooperation over the pandemic and stressed that Beijing had no intention of fighting "either a Cold War or a hot war with any country."
At the United Nations on Thursday, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos used a virtual UN meeting on a landmark 1995 women's conference in Beijing to accuse China of "the murder of millions of baby girls through brutal population controls."