China warns U.S. to change attitude or risk 'conflict'

STORY: China's foreign minister on Tuesday said the United States had a "distorted" attitude towards China.. and unless it changed it ways "conflict and confrontation" will follow.

The blunt comments came at a news conference during on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting in Beijing.

"If the United States does not hit the brakes but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing or a crash, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation."

Tensions between the two superpowers have escalated over a number of issues including Taiwan, trade and more recently the war in Ukraine but they worsened last month after the United States shot down a balloon off the U.S. East Coast that it says was a Chinese spying craft.

During the nearly two-hour news conference Tuesday-- foreign minister Qin Gang reiterated China’s position on Taiwan—saying it’s a red line that cannot be crossed -- and also blamed what he called an "invisible hand" for the escalation of the war in Ukraine without specifying who he was referring to, though Russia later said it was the United States.

"Regrettably, efforts to persuade peace and promote talks have been consistently undermined. It seems that there is an invisible hand pushing for the protraction and escalation of the conflict, using the Ukrainian crisis to serve certain geopolitical agendas."

China has declined to condemn Russia’s invasion and has fiercely defended its stance on the war. despite Western criticism of its failure to single Russia out as the aggressor.

China has also vehemently denied U.S. accusations that it has been considering supplying Russia with weapons.

For its part, the U.S. says it favors establishing guardrails for relations with China and is not seeking conflict.