Sat, Dec 01, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Beijing lashes out at critical US report

GLOBAL THREAT:China has adopted an ‘increasingly forward and aggressive posture’ in its campaign to expand its global influence, the Hoover Institution said

Reuters, BEIJING

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, receives a bunch of flowers from a girl on his arrival at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Chinese media yesterday hit back at a US academic report that urged the US to engage in “tit-for-tat” retaliation to counter what it said was Beijing’s widening campaign for influence which threatened to undermine democratic values.

The 213-page report, published by US think tank the Hoover Institution on Thursday, said the Chinese Communist Party had in recent years “significantly accelerated” both the investment and intensity of its global influence-seeking efforts.

The report was penned by a group of more than 30 prominent Western experts, such as Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, many of whom had long advocated for closer engagement with China.

The sharper tone comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has increased repression at home and adopted what the report describes as an “increasingly forward and aggressive posture on the global stage.”

China’s state-run Global Times said that the report’s threat assessment was unfounded.

“We believe the Chinese infiltration into the United States the report describes does not match up with China’s objective aspirations,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

However, the report found that there was now a “surprising” level of bipartisan skepticism about China’s intentions and a willingness to push back against its “predatory” policies.

“China is exploiting America’s openness in order to advance its aims on a competitive playing field,” it said. “Once largely a form of economic competition, China’s recent turn to military and political rivalry with the United States has changed the whole equation of the bilateral relationship.”

To counter China’s activities, the report makes a series of suggestions for US lawmakers, institutions and businesses that it said could help ensure “transparency, integrity and reciprocity.”

It recommends denying US visas to Chinese journalists and having academics affiliated with the Chinese government-run “Thousand Talents Program” registered as a foreign agent.

The report also lauded recent legislation that strengthened the review process by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, an interagency panel that assesses the national security implications of investment.

Legislation passed in June by US President Donald Trump was a “substantial improvement” that closed loopholes that China had been exploiting, it said.

The authors also included a note of caution that China’s efforts should not be exaggerated.

“China has not sought to interfere in a national election in the United States or to sow confusion or inflame polarization in our democratic discourse the way Russia has done,” it said.

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