Chinese President Xi Jinping took a firmer stance against the U.S. during a meeting of the country’s legislature last week and signaled a shift in tone as he secured his unprecedented third term as president.
The New York Times reported that Xi accused the U.S. of trying to blunt Beijing’s growth in “uncommonly blunt terms.”
Xi said the U.S. has led a Western effort of containment against China and is attempting to suppress the country and encircle it. He said the coordinated push has led to severe challenges for the country, The Times reported, citing a Chinese news outlet.
He said it is up to China to “remain calm” and “unite as one and dare to fight.”
TRENDPOST: The paper noted that Xi met with President Joe Biden in November and there was a brief hope in a thaw in the relationship, but that has only worsened. The U.S. continues to ramp up its military role with Taiwan and the State Department accused China of considering providing Russia with weapons, and there was a diplomatic row over alleged “spy balloons.”
(See “WWIII: U.S. QUADRUPLES TROOPS IN TAIWAN IN PREPARATION FOR WAR WITH CHINA” 28 Feb 2023, “U.S. RAMPS UP CONFLICT WITH CHINA, AS BEIJING MOCKS WASHINGTON OVER BALLOON RESPONSE” 21 Feb 2023 and “RUSSIA, CHINA HOLD KEY MEETING AMID UKRAINE WAR SIGNAL MUTUAL GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS AND CLOSE TIES” 28 Feb 2023.)
“This is the first time to my knowledge that Xi Jinping has publicly come out and identified the US as taking such actions against China,” Michael Swaine, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told The Times. “It is, without doubt, a response to the harsh criticisms of China, and of Xi Jinping personally, that Biden and many in the administration have leveled in recent months.”
As China increases its support of Russia their close relationships push them further from Washington. It is worth noting that before Biden took office he was fiercely critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and called him a killer. (See “PUTIN ACKNOWLEDGES BIDEN’S ANTI-RUSSIAN RHETORIC,” 13 Oct 2020.)
China Shows its Teeth
Qin Gang, the Chinese foreign minister, echoed Xi’s comment about the U.S. and what China sees as meddling in domestic and international affairs.
“The United States actually wants China not to fight back when hit or cursed, but this is impossible,” Qin said, according to the paper. He said the U.S. is speeding down the wrong path and no “amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there surely will be conflict and confrontation.”
“Such competition is a reckless gamble, with the stakes being the fundamental interests of the two peoples and even the future of humanity,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
TRENDPOST: We’ve reported that Biden’s stated top objective as president is to make sure China does not overcome the U.S. (See: “U.S. IDENTIFIES CHINA AS MOST SIGNIFICANT THREAT IN NEW SECURITY REPORT, CHINA WARNS AGAINST NUCLEAR ARMS RACE,” 1 Nov 2022.)
The Pentagon announced in its new National Defense Strategy in November that China remains the U.S.’s most “serious challenge” to security and noted that Beijing is increasing its “aggressive endeavor to refashion the Indo-Pacific region and the international system to suit its interests and authoritarian preferences.”
Ned Price, the State Department spokesman, denied Qin’s claim and said it is Washington’s hope that the two countries coexist “responsibly.”
“This is not about containing China. This is not about suppressing China. This is not about holding China back. We want to have that constructive competition that is fair,” he said.
John Kirby, the National Security Council, spokesman, said, “With all due respect to the Chinese foreign minister, there is no change to the United States posture when it comes to this bilateral relationship.”
The comments seemed to contradict Biden’s comment from last October when he said the U.S. needs to “win the competition for the 21st century.” Biden also said last year that the U.S. must lead the forming of a “new world order.”
Gen. Mike Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command, in January, said in a letter that he believes the U.S. will be at war with China in 2025.
WSWS.org noted that the “great power conflict,” was initiated during the Trump administration and has “largely been put into practice without public knowledge.”
The Diplomat reported that Qin quoted a Confucian saying: “One should repay kindness with kindness, and resentment with justice.”
“In China’s diplomacy, there is no shortage of goodwill and kindness. But if faced with jackals or wolves, Chinese diplomats would have no choice but to confront them head-on and protect our motherland,” Qin said.
Qin also spoke about Beijing’s budding relationship with Moscow. Both countries have been identified as threats by NATO, and voiced concerns about encirclement.
“China and Russia have found a path of major country relations featuring strategic trusts and good neighborliness,” Qin said. He said it is important to maintain strategic relationships given the instability around the world.
TRENDPOST: Hypocrisy is the American government’s way.
Qin noted that it was hypocritical that Washington can arm Taiwan to its teeth while warning China not to provide weapons to Russia. Qin said Beijing hasn’t provided Russia with any weapons, but said, “Why does the U.S. ask China not to provide weapons to Russia while it keeps selling arms to Taiwan.”
We noted last week that Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov called out Washington’s hypocrisy when it condemned Russia for invading Ukraine. (See “LAVROV CALLS OUT BULLSHIT BLINKEN’S HYPOCRISY,” 7 Mar 2023.)
“If you think that the United States has the right to declare any country in the world a threat to its national interests, the way it did with Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria—ten thousand kilometers away across the Atlantic Ocean, then you would not be asking any questions,” he said, according to Russia’s TASS. “Whereas Russia had issued warnings for more than 10 years (and not just once on the eve of the attack, as was the case in Iraq and other places): ‘Guys, what you are doing is going to end badly.’ We are not talking about some faraway place, but right on our borders, in territories where Russians have lived for centuries. In a word, if this is not what you call a double standard, then I am not foreign minister.”