Chinese foreign minister says trying to cut his country out of trade would be a historic mistake

MUNICH (AP) — China’s foreign minister told a gathering of international security policy officials Saturday that trying to shut China out of trade in the name of avoiding dependency would be a historic mistake.

Wang Yi spoke at the Munich Security Conference. Host Germany wants to avoid over-reliance on trade with an increasingly assertive China and diversify its supply of key goods in an approach it calls “de-risking.” That’s in line with the approach of other industrial powers in the Group of Seven, which has stressed that it doesn’t seek to harm China or thwart its development.

Beijing has criticized the strategy.

“Today … more people have come to realize that the absence of cooperation is the biggest risk,” Wang said through an interpreter. “Those who attempt to shut China out in the name of de-risking will make a historical mistake.”

“The world economy is like a big ocean that cannot be cut into isolated lakes,” he added. “The trend toward economic globalization cannot be reversed. We need to work together to make globalization more universally beneficial and inclusive.”

Wang also renewed China’s pushback against allegations of forced labor in the western Xinjiang region, where it is accused of running labor transfer programs in which Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities are forced to toil in factories as part of a longstanding campaign of assimilation and mass detention.

He complained of “fabricated information from different parties” and asserted that the aim is “to stop the development of China.”

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