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After a top Chinese diplomat said the two countries could work together on different issues if they were able to restore strained bilateral ties, US officials have accused China of seeking to avert responsibility for its actions.

Beijing was prepared to reopen constructive dialogue after relations sank to their lowest level in decades under former US President Donald Trump, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

But he urged Washington to honor the core interests of China, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering with the internal affairs of Beijing, and stop “conniving” for the independence of Taiwan with the separatist powers.

He called on the US to lift Chinese goods tariffs and abandon what he said was an irrational repression of the Chinese technology industry.

In response, US State Department Speaker Ned Price told reporters: “His comments reflect a continued pattern of Beijing’s tendency to avert blame for its predatory economic practices, its lack of transparency, its failure to honour its international agreements, and its repression of universal human rights.”

Reporters were separately told by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that the United States regarded the relationship with China as one of “strong competition”

Before Mr. Wang spoke, officials played footage of the 1972 “ping-pong diplomacy” at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, when an exchange of table tennis players opened the way for then-US President Richard Nixon to visit China.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Mr Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

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“We stand ready to have candid communication with the US side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

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