China criticizes US ‘invest, align, compete strategy

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China’s Foreign Ministry slammed the US plan to counter China, saying the so-called “invest, align, compete” approach outlined in a recent speech by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is just a replica of the previous so-called “competition, confrontation and cooperation” strategy.

The speech was designed to gather resources at home and abroad to contain and suppress China, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on Wednesday, urging the US to make the right choice instead of playing word games.

Blinken said in the speech delivered at George Washington University in Washington, DC that the Biden administration strategy can be summed up in three words: invest, align, and compete.

China is happy to see the US achieve its own development through legitimate investment, but the US should not use China as an imaginary enemy to rekindle its sense of national purpose. How the US improves its own innovation and competitiveness is its own business, but it can’t suppress and contain China, interfere in China’s internal affairs or harm China’s interests, Zhao said.

Zhao cited the Bipartisan Innovation Act as an example, saying that the act uses China as an imagi-nary enemy under the banner of enhancing the com-petitiveness of the US, and China is mentioned more than 800 times in it, along with clauses that harm China’s interests.

“Of course, China is firmly opposed to this,” Zhao said. We do not interfere with the normal coordination and cooperation between the US and its allies, but this relationship cannot target or harm the interests of third parties, nor violate the basic norms of international relations, Zhao said.

The US has formed anti-China alliances, whether it is an Indo-Pacific strategy, the QUAD, or AUKUS – they are products of a Cold War mentality and tools of a ‘zero-sum game,’” Zhao said, adding that such moves will aggravate tensions in the region.

China does not deny that there is some competi-tion between China and the US in the economic and trade field, but it cannot define Sino-US relations on the basis of competition, let alone engage in con-frontation between major powers under the guise of competition, Zhao said.

The US talks about competition, but what it ac-tually does is to generalize the concept of national security, and engage in illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, which seriously damages the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and unreasonably deprives other countries of their right to development, Zhao said.

If the US blindly defines Sino-US relations in terms of major power competition, it will only push China and the US into confrontation and conflict and push the world into turmoil, Zhao warned..

Zhao said, we noted the relevant contents of the joint statement, which distorts and smears China’s normal cooperation with Pacific Island countries (PICs), deliberately hypes up the South China Sea issue, makes irresponsible remarks on and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs including issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. China is firmly opposed to this.

I would like to take some time to make a detailed response. China has repeatedly expounded its position on China-Solomon Islands security coop-eration, stressing that such cooperation is conducive to peace, stability and development of Solomon Islands and the South Pacific and proceeds in parallel with existing regional arrangements. The security cooperation does not target any third party, nor does it intend to establish a military base. The hype-up of relevant issues in the joint statement by the US and New Zealand is out of ulterior motives to create disinformation and attack and discredit China. The US has military bases all over the world, yet it ex-presses concerns about normal security cooperation with other countries. Such act is hypocritical and reflects the US’ deep-rooted hegemonic mentality. The real security threat is that the US has cobbled together military blocs in the region, stimulated an arms race and brought nuclear proliferation risks to the South Pacific.

I want to stress that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently visited South Pacific Island countries and co-chaired the second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Fiji. State Councilor Wang put forward four principles on developing China’s relations with PICs, namely, equality, mutual respect, win-win cooperation, and openness and inclusiveness, which have been widely welcomed and recognized by PICs. This visit has achieved the expected goals of strengthening communication, enhancing mutual trust, building consensus, deepening friendship and expanding cooperation, and achieved positive results. PICs leaders spoke highly of China’s positive role in supporting their economic development, improving people’s livelihood and fighting the epidemic, and expressed high expectations for the future of China’s cooperation with PICs. China and PICs will continue to support and help each other, firmly uphold each other’s core interests and major concerns, constantly consolidate and develop their comprehensive strategic partnership, pursue common development and prosperity, and work together to build an even closer community with a shared future for China and PICs.

I also want to stress that the issues relating to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong are purely China’s internal affairs, which brook no interference from any country or external force. There has never been any problem with the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and there should not be such problem in the future. China is firmly committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, as well as the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law. We always maintain that the development of bilateral relations between countries should be conducive to world peace and stability and should not target or undermine the interests of any third party. At the same time, we are firmly opposed to drawing the ideological line and interfering in other countries’ internal affairs with erroneous words and deeds on issues concerning the sovereignty and security of a third country.

China urges the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological bias, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop slandering and discrediting China. We hope New Zealand will ad-here to its independent foreign policy and do more to enhance security and mutual trust among regional countries and safeguard regional peace and stability.

Zhao said, I expounded on China’s solemn posi-tion on the US congresswoman’s visit to Taiwan yesterday. I want to stress that the fundamental rea-son for the current tension across the Taiwan Strait is the DPP authorities’ attempt to seek Taiwan’s inde-pendence by soliciting US support and some US individuals’ scheme to contain China with the Taiwan question. The US has recently made frequent moves on the Taiwan question in contradiction to its own statements. It encourages and supports “Taiwan independence” forces covertly or overtly. This will not only push Taiwan into a dangerous situation, but also cause grave consequences to the US.

Zhao said China believes that it’s a shared re-sponsibility and obligation for China and the US to build a world of connectivity, diversity, inclusive-ness, security and shared benefits. Whether China and the US can properly handle the relationship is a question of the century to which the two countries must provide a good answer. State Councilor Wang Yi and Foreign Ministry Spokespersons have responded to Secretary of State Blinken’s speech repeatedly. In response to the US’ three-point strategy to China, I’d like to stress the following points:

First, we are glad to see the US achieve devel-opment through legitimate investment, but the US shouldn’t try to revitalize its sense of purpose as a nation by making China an imaginary enemy.

How to improve the capability for innovation and com-petitiveness is the US’ own business. It’s ill-advised to make China an issue, still less use this as excuse to suppress and contain China, interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests. China will undoubtedly rejects such things once they happen. Take the proposed bipartisan innovation legislation that is still under review as an example, it professes to increase the US’ competitiveness, but is aimed to make China an imaginary enemy, with the word “China” mentioned as many as more than 800 times and full of articles and provisions detrimental to China’s interests. China would firmly reject this.—GT

 

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