A new administration in Washington. Same old “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy from Beijing.
In a week when China threatened to declare “war” on Taiwan and accused the United States of “fabricating rumors and inciting hostility,” you would have thought Donald Trump was still in the White House.
Instead, President Joe Biden’s administration was working behind the scenes to put together a coalition to tackle Chairman Xi Jinping’s Communist Party regime.
Trump might have gone but the wolves are still howling at the White House door. China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai made that perfectly clear.
“[The US] must honestly answer the question: Can it accept the development of countries with a different history and political systems and peacefully coexist with them? Treating China as a strategic opponent and an imaginary enemy is a serious strategic misjudgment,” he said on January 28 in the first speech on Sino-US relations by a major Chinese political figure since Biden took office.
- Cui’s speech came on the same day Beijing warned democratic Taiwan that “independence means war.”
- China’s PLA Air Force had mounted two of its largest missions last weekend in provocative acts.
- The US issued a warning, calling on Beijing to stop “pressuring” Taipei.
- China considers democratic Taiwan a renegade province.
- It has vowed to unify the island with the mainland by force if necessary.
- On January 27, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the situation in the South China Sea, another potential area of conflict.
- Three days later, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said China must be held accountable for its actions.
That speech by Ambassador Cui: “In the past few years some people have tried to create rumors, incite hatred, provoke disputes, hijack US policy toward China, and push Sino-US relations into a dangerous abyss of confrontation.”
What National Security Adviser Sullivan said: “[We must be] prepared to act, [and] impose costs, for what China is doing [against Uighur Muslims] in Xinjiang, what it’s doing in Hong Kong, for the bellicosity and threats it is projecting towards Taiwan.”
Sullivan on a US-European coalition: “We don’t have entirely aligned perspectives on every one of these issues … I think China is right at the top of the list of things that we’ve got to work together on and where there is work to do to get fully aligned.”
China Factor comment: It has been an incredible week even for Sino-US relations. When Beijing is not spouting Party dogma, the CCP diplomatic corp, including Ambassador Cui, talks about “respect” and “trust.” But it is difficult to “respect” a country that has locked up more than one million Uighur Muslims in internment camps. Or “trust” a nation that stamped out freedom of speech in Hong Kong and is now threatening to invade Taiwan.