WASHINGTON — China’s Communist government smacked-down Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s appeals to work together on climate change after he said he agreed that the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighur Muslims amounted to “genocide.”
In a new statement released on Twitter, China’s foreign ministry accused Blinken of “interfering in its domestic affairs and undermining its interests” after he backed predecessor Mike Pompeo’s declaration that it had launched “a systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs.”
“China is willing to work with the US on climate change. But such cooperation cannot stand unaffected by the overall China-US relations,” the statement read.
“It is impossible to ask for China’s support in global affairs while interfering in its domestic affairs and undermining its interests,” it added.
At his first press conference as Biden’s secretary of state on Wednesday, Blinken was asked by a Chinese journalist how the US would work with China with the genocide designation hanging over the relationship.
Blinken danced around the issue and said the US was able to compartmentalize difference issues with the Communist nation, which he described as “the most important relationship we have,” and called on them to step up alongside America to confront climate change.
“It’s not a secret that the relationship between the United States and China is arguably the most important relationship that we have in the world going forward,” Blinken said, adding it had increasingly “adversarial aspects.”
He said that the countries could still work together on “mutual interests” like the environment, despite their enormous ideological differences.