The fever pitch in relations between the U.S. and China is rising dangerously high, with the Chinese leaving no move and no statement unanswered. And it all revolves around Taiwan but also… China’s balloons.
But things are getting dangerous, with both countries not backing down.
There was Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and now there are Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.’s statements about supporting the Asian island state against China, further raising the temperature. In fact, on Tuesday March 7 the U.S. President said on PBS that “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.”
The latest chapter – early March – opens with a letter from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in which he referred to the “pacing challenge” posed by “authoritarian” China, adding that “an increasingly aggressive China is trying to shape the international rules-based system to suit its authoritarian preferences. This is a generational challenge.”
Addressing the general international context, he said, “we face historic challenges – but we will meet them.”
At the same time, the Chinese side is not just ‘wagging a finger’ at the United States but … is warning Washington to change its attitude towards China. And this from China’s two most powerful men, the President, Xi Jinping, and the new Foreign Minister, Qin Gang. Xi Jinping on Monday night (March 6) at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing said, among other things, that Western countries, led by the U.S., have implemented a full policy of containment, encirclement and repression of China, which he said raises unprecedented challenges to their country’s development.
A day later, in a press conference on the sidelines of the same meeting, Qin Gang said – among other things – that “the U.S. must change its ‘distorted’ attitude towards China, otherwise ‘conflict and confrontation’ will follow.”
He then he defended China’s stance on the war in Ukraine and its close ties with Russia.
The new foreign minister also said that
Washington “means to contain and suppress China in all respects and get the two countries locked in a zero-sum game… It’s so-called establishing guardrails and not seeking conflict simply means that China should not respond in words or action when slandered or attacked…That is just impossible.”
He responded to Biden regarding sanctions against China if it is proven to be militarily supporting Russia in the war with Ukraine by saying that China is not part of this crisis and has not supplied arms to either side of the conflict. He also wonders about the basis of the accusations that are leading to talk of sanctions and China being threatened, which he called absolutely unacceptable.
It must be emphasized here that China has decided to increase its defense spending by… 224 billion dollars, although Westerners believe that China is giving lower numbers than the actual expenditures…
All of this not only is not good, it raises the tensions between the U.S. and China very dangerously. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. should calm things down – he must ‘clean up’ his position regarding Taiwan, but on the other hand he cannot show weakness. Of course, he must put China in its place, but he will have to show who is the boss with diplomacy and not with belligerence.