The Biden administration said it was tasked with curtailing autocratic Beijing’s quest for world domination. Washington has labelled the rivalry between the two countries as one between autocracy and democracy. President Biden has vowed to contain an expansionist China that the US claim are hell-bent on becoming the world’s most powerful nation.
At his first White House press conference President Biden declared he would be “unrelenting” in calling out China’s human rights abuses.
He added: “China has an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world.
“That’s not going to happen on my watch.”
Washington pointed out he numerous human-rights abuses that have been enacted by Beijing, particularly in the troubled Xinjiang region, were millions of Uighurs have been detained in “re-education” camps.
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The description has drawn the ire of the Politburo in Beijing, who hit back to point out that the US has a blemished history of crime, social upheaval and illegal wars.
The diplomatic spat between the two countries has escalated this week into proposals for a slate of tit-for-tat sanctions.
China is now proposing to take retaliatory measures in response to co-ordinated penalties imposed by the combined group of nations, the US, EU, Canada and Britain, in response to Beijing’s ongoing oppression of the Uighur ethnic minority.
This led Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, to respond by stating: “No matter how a country brags about its democratic values, if it sits on its hands while more than 500,000 people die from the pandemic, if it does nothing when more than 40,000 people die in shooting incidents a year, if it fabricated evidence and launched attacks on a sovereign country causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and leaving countless people homeless, then it probably has no right to call itself the beacon of democracy and human rights.”
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Hua added: “In obeying international relations, China is a model student, an A-plus student, but the US is a bad student.
“I think that’s commonly accepted.”
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson went on to say that Mr Biden’s pledge to keep China from dominating the world was not misinformed.
She said: “The goal of China has never been to overtake the US.
“China’s goal is to overtake itself to become a better China.”
China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, disagreed with Washington’s criticism of its human rights record.
Speaking to CNN, Cui said: “Our goal is to meet the growing inspiration of the Chinese people for a better life.
“Our goal is not to compete with or replace any other country.”