China hopes US will ‘do more things’ conducive to dialogue

BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes the United States will “do more things” conducive to Sino-U.S. dialogue, the foreign ministry said on Monday, days after Washington angered Beijing with accusations of information manipulation.

Communication between officials of both sides has increased in recent months, bringing some improvement in ties strained for years over issues such as Taiwan, the origins of COVID-19 and accusations of Chinese spying.

“We hope the United States will meet (us) half way, do more things that are conducive to Sino-U.S. dialogue,” the ministry said in a statement.

China has always viewed two-way ties along the lines of mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation, the ministry added.

The statement came in response to a Reuters request for comment on a message last week by U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken wishing “peace, happiness and prosperity” for the Chinese people ahead of Sunday’s National Day holiday.

Although Blinken welcomed China’s co-operation in tackling shared challenges on climate, public health, counter-narcotics, food security, and global macroeconomic stability, he made no mention of any co-operation on technology.

The Biden administration has placed curbs on chip exports to China, saying they aim to deny Beijing access to advanced technology that could further military advancements or rights abuses. China hit back with accusations of economic coercion.

A U.S. state department report published on Thursday accused Beijing of ploughing billions of dollars annually into information manipulation efforts, prompting China’s foreign ministry to call the United States the true “empire of lies”.

Monday’s ministry statement made no mention of the earlier state department report, however.

Despite occasional sparks, expectations have been building that the recent rounds of high-level talks could help pave the way for a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)