State Department Spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that the Biden administration’s China strategy isn’t about “containing” or “holding back” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Price made the remarks in response to a question about comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Qin Gang this week, in which both men accused the United States of trying to stifle China. Price said the Biden administration is interested in trying to out-compete China, not suppress it.
“This is not about containing any country around the world. This is not about containing China, this is not about suppressing China, this is not about holding China back,” Price said at Tuesday’s press briefing. “This is about upholding the rules-based order — the rules-based order that countries like China have signed onto.”
“It’s not about holding back any other country. We want to have that constructive competition, that is fair, that allows our two countries to coexist responsibly, as we are confident we can,” he continued. “And that has those checks in place to see to it that competition doesn’t veer into that conflict.”
Xi made a rare direct rebuke of Washington in his speech to China’s National People’s Conference, with additional remarks that did not appear in the English transcript of the event, NPR reported.
“Western countries led by the U.S. have implemented comprehensive containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development,” he reportedly said, NPR reported.
The U.S. and China are on a path towards “conflict and confrontation” unless the U.S. changes course, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned at a press conference.https://t.co/arY7V7HfgS
— Axios (@axios) March 7, 2023
Qin, who most recently served as China’s ambassador to the United States before being named Foreign Minister just weeks ago, elaborated further, saying, “If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” the outlet reported. (RELATED: DOOCY TO KARINE STRAIGHT UP: ‘Why Is President Biden Afraid Of China?’)
Tensions between the CCP and the Biden administration have been exacerbated in recent months due to several incidents, most notably the detection of a Chinese spy balloon above U.S. airspace earlier this year and the subsequent cancelling of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to Beijing as a result.