The Chinese Communist regime is acting aggressively to expand its influence abroad, while launching exposed threats to other countries that may think of trying to stop it – as the United States tries to rally allies to repel the regime’s expansionist efforts.
“The Chinese people will absolutely not allow any foreign force to intimidate, oppress or enslave us, and anyone who tries to do so will be faced with broken heads and bloodshed in front of the Great Iron Wall of 1.4. billion Chinese, ”President Xi Jinping said. this week as it marked the 100th anniversary of the party’s founding.
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Xi oversaw a regime that cemented power in his country and clamped down on dissent and other groups the regime sees as undesirable, while pushing its influence abroad.
China has been accused of engaging in systematic human rights violations, including forced sterilizations and forced labor in “re-education camps”, of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. The human rights violations sparked an international outcry and sanctions against officials by the US government.
“The United States and our G7 partners remain deeply concerned about the use of all forms of forced labor in global supply chains, including state-sponsored forced labor of vulnerable groups and minorities and Supply chains from the agricultural, solar and garment sectors – the main supply chains of concern in Xinjiang, ”a G-7 statement said last month.
China essentially ditched what was left of the 1997 “one country, two systems” agreement for Hong Kong last year when it passed a national security law and immediately began to stifle the country’s already limited freedoms. territory and the pro-democracy movement.
Recently, marking the anniversary of the Chinese crackdown, police cordoned off a park where pro-democracy rallies have been held since the British handover. Large-scale protests have been banned and pro-democracy activists and journalists have been arrested.
Xi, however, still asserts that his regime maintains the “one country, two systems” framework. As the Western media contrasted his remarks with actions on the ground to crush dissent in Hong Kong, the Chinese state media came to his defense.
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“‘One country, two systems’ is never something that will turn Hong Kong into an independent or semi-independent place; quite the contrary; it is a security line that protects Hong Kong and its 7.47 million people. inhabitants of the evil hands of foreigners. supported political forces and secessionists, ”a China Daily article said.
China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan, which the regime claims to be part of China, but has met fierce resistance to the demand from the Taiwanese and Washington.
Taiwan and China split amid a civil war in 1949, and China says it is determined to bring the island under its control by force if necessary. The United States transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but is legally obligated to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself and that the autonomous democratic island enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington.
With the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, China’s actions have become more aggressive, with military planes regularly flying in its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
The increase in aggression has raised the prospect of war in the region, but this, along with objections from the international community, does not appear to have deterred the Communist regime. The State Department of the Trump and Biden administrations relaxed restrictions on U.S. delegations to the territory, resulting in trips that angered Beijing.
“There is no room for compromise and not a thumbs up,” Chinese spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in April. “We urge the US side to grasp the situation, strictly adhere to the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint statements, refrain from playing with fire, immediately stop all official contact with Taiwan in any form. it would be.”
South china sea
In recent years, China has increased its military presence in the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea, an aggressive move as it seeks to assert its claim on the international community.
An international tribunal struck down China’s claim to 90% of the South China Sea in 2016, but Beijing does not recognize the ruling. China has built islands in disputed waters in recent years, putting airstrips on some of them. Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei all claim part of the sea.
Fox News reported in April that around 220 Chinese paramilitary ships, piloted by maritime militias, had “swarmed” around a disputed reef in the South China Sea. China has argued the vessels are simply fishing boats, sheltering in the area due to poor sea conditions, but they haven’t fished and the weather has been good.
The issue has become increasingly worrying for Western countries, with G-7 leaders referring to it in their June statement which criticized China on a range of issues.
“We stress the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful settlement of cross-strait issues,” the statement said. “We remain gravely concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo and increase tensions,” he added.
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Last month, a US Navy carrier strike group entered the waters on what it called a routine mission.
“In the South China Sea, the strike group is conducting maritime security operations, which include air operations with fixed and rotary wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises and coordinated tactical training between surface and air units.” the US Navy said in a statement. , according to Reuters.
Belt and Road Initiative
China is moving forward with its Belt and Road Initiative, a multibillion-dollar infrastructure program aimed at China link with more than 100 countries through rail, maritime and energy projects.
The “belt” will be made up of land routes connecting the economies of Asia, Europe, Africa and Europe. The “road” – although not actually a road – will connect various ocean routes through these areas.
China has already invested heavily in other countries as part of the initiative. Supporters say the project will strengthen ties between Beijing and emerging markets while lifting developing countries out of poverty. However, critics of the BIS say it is part of China’s desire to achieve domination and control of trade in order to compete with the United States.
This sparked concern from the West, including President Biden – who called for a plan to compete with the BIS.
Response from the United States
The Biden administration has so far taken a less directly confrontational approach to the threat from China than the Trump administration, seeking instead to build a coalition to combat the threat. In some ways, he even leaned on the initiatives of the Trump administration by not lifting Trump-era trade tariffs and even expanding other measures, such as further limiting US investment in companies linked to the United States. the Chinese army.
Biden’s remarks also expressed concern over the threat China poses to the United States.
“Last night, I was on the phone for two straight hours with Xi Jinping,” Biden told reporters from the Oval Office in February. “It was a good conversation, I know him well, we spent a lot of time together during the years when I was vice president, but if we don’t budge they will eat our lunch. They have major, major. new initiatives on the rail, they already have a rail that goes easily at 325 miles an hour, they’re working really hard to do what I think we’re going to have to do.
In February, he announced the formation of a Chinese Defense Ministry task force to assess China’s future challenge; at the same time, the G7 member states accepted the initiative to challenge the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also reiterated his calls for an alliance and increased cooperation to counter China, after speaking with NATO allies.
“When one of us is compelled, we must react as allies and work together to reduce our vulnerability by ensuring that our economies are more integrated with each other,” Blinken said at NATO Headquarters. in March.
After G-7 leaders issued a statement in June criticizing China in several places, President Biden defended it against claims it was not strong enough.
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“The G-7 has explicitly agreed to speak out against human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. I know this is going to sound a bit prosaic, but I think we’re in a contest, not with China in itself, but a contest with autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, over whether or not democracies can compete with them in a rapidly evolving 21st century, ”he said.
“I think there is a lot of action on China,” he said.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche, Brooke Singman, Evie Fordham, Benjamin Hall and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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