US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Thursday condemned China’s challenging of European security, economy and values, calling on Europe to help the US counter competition from Beijing.
“Even before [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping, 習近平] and [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin declared their ‘no limits’ partnership in February, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] has challenged Europe’s security, Europe’s economy and Europe’s values,” Sherman, speaking from Washington, told European reporters by video link.
Sherman’s comments came in the wake of a speech by her boss, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who recently identified Beijing as the main threat to world order, despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Washington accuses Beijing of wanting to reshape the world order.
In a speech on Wednesday last week, Blinken said Washington was engaged in vigorous competition with Beijing to preserve the current world order.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has spoken of the need to pressure China to play by the rules, including in its South China Sea and trade disputes.
“While Beijing may be thousands of miles away ... the PRC’s actions matter just as much for the future of Europe,” Sherman said, welcoming current cooperation with Europe while still seeking to “align our approaches.”
“We are all looking at issues of supply chains,” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, she added.
“The US is not seeking conflict” with China nor to “sever our economy from the PRC,” she said.
“We don’t want a new cold war,” but “we can’t rely on Beijing to change its behavior,” Sherman said.
The US is being vigilant over the alliance between Russia and China, threatening Beijing “with consequences” if the Chinese authorities ever decide to send military equipment to Russia, she added.
“Quite frankly, I think Russia and Putin will be a pariah for a very long time and I’m not sure the PRC will benefit,” she said.
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