A senior US diplomat called on European countries to help Washington offset competition from arch-enemy China, stressing that Beijing has long challenged Europe’s “security, economy and values”.
US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman made the remarks during a virtual press conference on Thursday following China’s pledge to further cement ties with Russia despite the war in Ukraine.
“Even before (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) and (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin declared their ‘limitless’ partnership in February, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) challenged Europe’s security , Europe’s economy and Europe’s values,” she told European reporters via video link from Washington.
Sherman went on to say that even though China is thousands of miles away, its actions “matter just as much for the future of Europe.”
She also welcomed the ongoing cooperation with Europe, while seeking alignment in their approaches.
Sherman asserted that the United States was neither seeking to enter into conflict with China nor to separate its economy from the Asian country.
“We don’t want a new Cold War,” she said, but “we can’t rely on Beijing to change its behavior.”
The top US diplomat also stressed that Washington was vigilant about the Russia-China alliance, threatening Beijing with “consequences” if it sent military equipment to Russia.
“Quite frankly, I think Russia and Putin will be an outcast for a very long time and I’m not sure the PRC will benefit from that,” she said.
Sherman’s comments came on the heels of a recent speech by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who called Beijing “the most serious long-term challenge to the international order”, despite recent emphasis on the war in Ukraine.
In a speech at George Washington University on May 25, Blinken called for vigorous competition with China to preserve the existing world order, but added that Washington was not looking for a “cold war.”
He stressed that China remains the top priority of the Biden administration despite the support and assistance the United States provides to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Blinken said there was a growing consensus that other nations cannot change the trajectory of China, which he said has become under President Xi Jinping “more repressive at home, more aggressive abroad.” ‘foreign”.
US-China relations have become increasingly strained in recent years, with the world’s two largest economies clashing over a range of issues including trade, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, military activities in the South China Sea south and the origins of the coronavirus.
Tensions escalated significantly under the previous US administration. Joe Biden continued his predecessor’s China policy by maintaining tariffs, bolstering the US military presence in the South China Sea and bolstering support for Chinese Taipei.
China prepares to launch its third aircraft carrier
The latest development comes as China prepares to launch its largest and most advanced aircraft carrier, the Type 003.
New satellite images show that after several years of work at the Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai, where the long-awaited plane is under construction, it could be afloat in the next few days.
It comes as the city announced the end of its latest coronavirus lockdown.
Reports suggesting work was brewing in Jiangnan surfaced last week after the Maritime Safety Administration issued a notice requesting that berths at Jiangnan Shipyard on Changxing Island be released for a operation.
He said the operation would be underway from 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and would involve five rigs, three tugs and two salvage vessels.
China has boosted its naval capabilities as part of its goal to create a world-class military by mid-century.
China’s Type 003 warship is not nuclear-powered, but technological advancements include an electromagnetic catapult system that will allow the Chinese military to launch fixed-wing aircraft with heavier bomb loads and more fuel for longer range operations.