China snaps back at ‘new Cold War’ warning as minister makes critical visit to Europe

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Wang Yi said on a visit to Italy that it was vital for China and the European Union to strengthen their own ties and work together in their fight against COVID-19. This warning comes at a time of deteriorating relations between China and the US, which some experts claim could become a war between the East and West.

Mr Yi said: “On the so-called new Cold War.

“China has no intention in launching any new Cold War.

“We are resolutely opposed to any promotion of a new Cold War.

“This is for one’s self-interest. This is to hold all countries in the world hostage.”

President Trump has blamed China for the spread of COVID-19, which is one of the reasons tensions between the two countries has soared.

The US leader has also threatened to restrict the global development of the Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies.

He said: “China will never want a Cold War … because a Cold War would be a step backwards.

“We will not let other countries do this for their own private interests, while damaging the interests of other countries.”

The Chinese State Councillor will visit Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany on his trip to Europe.

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It is China’s first high-level visit since COVID-19 and shows the importance of Europe to China’s diplomacy.

The visit comes 50 years since China and Italy established formal ties.

Speaking in Rome, Mr Yi said: “China will not forget how Europe helped us during COVID-19 outbreak.

“And, we will surely not stand aside when Europe is facing similar challenges.”

Speaking about China’s relationship with Italy, he said: “The two countries sent medical supplies to each other at critical times of need, aiming at humanitarian work, not politics.

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“COVID-19 did not damage our relationship, but it strengthened it.”

Recent tensions between China and the US have seen Washington close Chinese consulate Houston, impose sanctions against Chinese officials over Hong Kong and blame them for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr Yi said: “My visit is aimed at world peace and closer cooperation with Europe to fight unilateralism and a Cold War mindset.”

The foreign minister also warned the UK would be at risk of pursuing a “dead-end” policy if they undo the progress made in building relations with Beijing.

Speaking to Dominic Raab, he said China and the UK should “strengthen communication and coordination”.

Mr Raab said the UK has always appreciated the importance of China.

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