Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his new US counterpart Joe Biden not to push Europe into an alliance against Beijing, Politico reports. If the USA takes any measures that would be designed to push China out of global trade and technology networks, this may reignite the Cold War, Xi Jinping said.
Joe Biden's team earlier called for the formation of an alliance to confront China's economic model, which apparently forced the Chinese leader to speak up against such an approach.
"Forming small groups or launching new cold wars on the world stage; excluding, threatening and intimidating others; resorting to decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions ... would only push the world towards division, if not confrontation," Xi said.
"Repeatedly, history and the reality reminded us that, if we walk down the path of confrontation - be it a cold war, a hot war, a trade war or a tech war - all countries are going to suffer in terms of their interests and their people's well-being," he added.
The prospect of transatlantic collaboration in relation to Beijing has prompted China to make some pre-emptive moves. In particular, China offered EU countries unprecedented market access in a comprehensive investment agreement last month.
At the same time, after Biden won the US presidential election in November, EU officials proposed teaming up with his administration to squeeze China out of the global technology trade.
The European Commission subsequently set forth the idea of the "Transatlantic Trade and Technology Council" to set joint standards on new technologies, in order to stop Beijing from establishing its economic dominance across a number of high-value sectors by developing its own widely used technological standards.
Xi responded by saying: "The fruit of technology should benefit the whole of humanity, but not become the tools to restrict and suppress the development of other countries."
Over the weekend, Biden made phone calls to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Macron. On both occasions, he brought up the need for the United States to work with Europe on how to tackle China.
Also on Monday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi virtually attended a meeting of EU foreign ministers, where he indirectly criticized China's role in the Indo-Pacific region.
He noted the worsening situation of democracy and human rights in the region as well as the security challenges in the East China Sea and South China Sea, according to the Japanese foreign ministry.
"We welcome the growing interest in the Indo-Pacific in Europe," he added.
Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, told a press conference that EU foreign ministers also discussed China's crackdown on the democracy movement in Hong Kong with Motegi.