Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian criticized Biden’s efforts at the Group of Seven and North Atlantic Treaty Organization summits in recent days. The response was the latest sign of Beijing’s frustration with Washington, amid tensions over everything from trade and security to human rights and the pandemic.
“The United States is sick and very sick,” Zhao told reporters during the ministry’s first press briefing since G-7 meetings in the UK. “The G-7 would do better to take their pulse and come up with a prescription.”
Zhao criticized the G-7 statement, which expressed concerns about Chinese policies in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang – issues which Beijing says fall within its own internal affairs. Still, he sought to downplay the size of the US coalition, saying the declaration “exposes the bad intentions of the US and a few others to create confrontation and estrangement and expand differences and disagreements.”
Washington has sought to build a united front on Beijing, although Biden was content with a modest condemnation at the G-7 NATO meeting and progressive results. A statement issued after the NATO meeting mentioned China 10 times, compared to only one after the last peak in 2019. Russia has been nominated more than 60 times this year. The document also states that the bloc “maintains a constructive dialogue with China to the extent possible.”
“China certainly has cause for concern as NATO’s action can be seen as yet another US-led measure to surround and contain China,” said Vivian Zhan, associate professor of Chinese politics. at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “China will be motivated to strengthen its ties with US allies, for example through trade, investment and diplomatic actions in order to undermine the US alliance or make its maintenance more costly for the US . “
China has particularly attacked NATO, after Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was “concerned about China’s coercive policies, which contrast with core values enshrined in the Washington Treaty” on which rests the block. Stoltenberg cited China’s rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal, military cooperation with Russia and its use of disinformation.
The alliance “inflicted war and turmoil on the world,” Zhao said, lifting the 1999 bombing of his embassy in Belgrade. “This is NATO’s blood debt to the Chinese people,” Zhao said.
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The United States later apologized for the incident, saying it was an error resulting from the use of outdated maps.
Previously, China’s mission to the European Union had adopted a more measured tone, saying the country was not posing a “systemic challenge” to any country. Yet the mission warned that Beijing would “stand idly by” in the face of challenges, according to a statement published Tuesday on its website.
Biden had been pushing for the G-7 to confront China on issues such as forced labor and human rights abuses, and on its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure plan. He said he also raised the issue of China’s denial of external access to its laboratories to determine the origin of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The G-7 communiqué calls for a “timely, transparent, expert-led and science-based” study by the World Health Organization into the origins of the disease.
Some, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have expressed concern over the transformation of the G-7 into an anti-China group. “It’s not about being against something, but for something,” Merkel said at one point at the summit.
China does not pose a threat to any of the NATO member countries, said Henry Wang, chairman of the Center for China and Globalization, which has former government officials on its advisory board and describes itself as the leading non-think tank. world government of China.
“China does not see NATO as a rival and NATO should not project a rivalry on China,” he said. “We should really focus on peaceful building and working with the world, especially in tackling the pandemic, climate change and economic recovery. “
– With the help of Philip Glamann and Jing Li