China’s new ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, has an undiplomatic piece of advice for the Biden administration.
“If we cannot resolve our differences, please shut up,” he said during a Zoom meeting last month held by the National Committee on United States-China Relations, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting bilateral cooperation, per the National Review.
Qin had just given a speech regarding the current state of U.S.-Chinese relations to a small group, including the organization’s board. During the question session that followed, Evan Medeiros, a Georgetown University Professor who served as National Security Council director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia under Obama, asked what steps the two countries could take to strengthen their relationship.
Qin first answered that the U.S. should stop making the situation worse in order to create conditions for dialogue. He then suggested that the U.S. “shut up.”
After the meeting, the embassy published a transcript of Qin’s speech, which blasted the current direction of Washington’s policy toward China and warned leaders against the “disastrous consequences” of using a “Cold War playbook.” Conveniently, the question session was not included in the materials posted.
Indeed, Qin’s aggressive comment was surprising, considering the event was hosted by a prominent group of former officials, academics and business leaders with decades of experience in all things China.