As Biden takes office, China again calls for relations with the U.S. to 'return to the right track'

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  • “The two peoples have suffered & hope to see ties return to the right track at an early date,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday on Twitter.
  • In the 36 hours after the inauguration, official commentary from Chinese officials and state media has mostly focused on sanctions on 28 individuals, most of them from the Trump administration.

BEIJING — In the wake of U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration, China is talking up hope for better relations with Washington — but also warning there will be consequences to challenging the Chinese sovereignty.

In a tweet Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “‘A new day for #US’, as said by American media. We wish the same for #China_US relations.”

“The two peoples have suffered & hope to see ties return to the right track at an early date,” she said.

In the 36 hours after the inauguration, the foreign ministry and state media mostly focused on new sanctions prohibiting 28 people — including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former White House trade advisor Peter Navarro — from doing business with China.

Most were from the Trump administration, but the ex-president himself was not listed among the 10 named individuals. The foreign ministry declined to identify the 18 others.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the order around 1 a.m. Beijing time Thursday, just as Biden was being sworn in at noon ET Wednesday.

The state-backed Global Times soon published at least three articles in both English and Chinese on the tabloid’s perceived reach of the sanctions.

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“US officials and politicians cannot be allowed to make a profit from China while attacking China. … Washington’s ‘revolving door’ is well known — senior officials will be hired by companies, NGOs, or think tanks after they leave the government,” one English-language Global Times op-ed said on Thursday.

Companies and institutions associated with the 28 people will not be allowed to do business with China, according to the official announcement.

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