(Bloomberg) -- China criticized the US for seeing it as a threat after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo defended efforts to deprive the Asian nation of cutting-edge semiconductors, underscoring the fragility of recently stabilized ties.
“The US should stick to the right perception and work with China to deliver on the common understandings reached in the San Francisco meeting,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday, referring to a sitdown last month between the leaders of the two nations.
The US should “stop seeing China as a hypothetical enemy and saying one thing but doing another,” he said.
Read: Raimondo Says Commerce Needs More Money to Halt China Chip Drive
Raimondo said Saturday at a forum in California that she needed more funding to prevent the Asian nation from catching up on chips that can be used for military purposes. She said this was “the biggest threat we’ve ever had,” adding that “China is not our friend.”
President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met for the first time in a year last month in the US, scoring a handful of small victories they hope will stop a surge in tensions that threatened global economic growth.
But the two left that encounter with major issues such as Taiwan’s status and the US tech restrictions in place, meaning they’ll likely need to make constant efforts to manage their differences. Underscoring that dynamic, China criticized the US on Monday after an American warship sailed in disputed waters in the South China Sea. The US Navy said it was acting lawfully.
In a sign that the two nations are still working to improve ties, China’s economy czar, Vice Premier He Lifeng, met on Monday in Beijing with Richard Haass, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations.
They discussed economic and trade cooperation among other topics, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. He also told Haass that Beijing was willing to work with Washington to implement the consensus that Xi and Biden reached, and to promote cooperation in economy and trade.
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Raimondo visited Beijing in August as the two nations worked to repair ties. That trip coincided with Huawei Technologies Co. releasing a new phone with an advanced chip that alarmed politicians in Washington.
In her comments on Saturday, she signaled that US had no intention of backing down on preventing China from getting high-end semiconductors. “We’re going to deny them our most cutting-edge technology,” she said.
Wang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that stance exposed the “Cold War mentality” of the US and its desire for hegemony. He also indicated that his nation would get around the tech curbs eventually.
“The violation of the rules and regulations of the free-trade market is just like building a dam with a sieve,” he said. “No matter how hard you try, the water will just flow through it.”
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(Updates with He-Haass meeting.)
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