Beijing: China on Wednesday said it was “smeared” in US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address where the American leader repeatedly named Beijing as a competitor and vowed to “protect” his country in the backdrop of the downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon by the US air force.
“I’m committed to work with China where we can advance American interests and benefit the world,” Biden said, according to agency reports, adding: “But make no mistake about it: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did.”
In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry reacted sharply with spokesperson, Mao Ning, criticising the speech.
Mao said China is not afraid of competition. “China does not shy away or flinch from competition. However, we are opposed to defining the entire China-US relations by competition. It is beneath a responsible country to use competition as a pretext to smear other countries and restrain their legitimate right to development, even at the expense of global industrial and supply chains,” Mao said.
“China has always believed that China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other. The successes of China and the US are opportunities, not challenges, for each other. The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together,” Mao added.
“The US needs to view China in an objective and rational light, follow a positive and practical China policy, and work with China to bring China-US relations back to the track of sound and steady development,” the spokesperson added.
The balloon incident has set back Sino-US ties and Beijing needs to reassure Washington that such incidents will not recur, an US expert told HT
The balloon incident is unfortunate as it will set back any diplomatic efforts to get US-China relations back on track. While no one expects relations to improve suddenly just through a meeting, it is still important to hold high level meetings, especially after 3 years of pandemic isolation,” Mary E Gallagher, the Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor of Democracy, Democratisation, and Human Rights at the University of Michigan, said.
“While (US secretary of state Antony) Blinken has signalled a desire to still hold the meeting, it is likely to take some time to arrange and the US may need some assurances that similar incidents won’t disrupt the next meeting,” Gallagher added.