Beijing dismisses accusation that China wants to replace US as superpower

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has rejected US President Joe Biden’s description of Beijing’s goal of replacing the United States as the next superpower, underscoring mistrust between the two biggest economies of the world in terms of their strategic intentions.

In his first large-scale press conference since taking office, Biden said Thursday (25): “China’s overall goal is to become the greatest country in the world, the richest and most powerful country in the world.” .

“This will not happen in my government because the United States will continue to grow,” Biden said. Asked about the US president’s comment in an interview with CNN, Cui said, “China’s development goal is to meet the Chinese people’s growing aspiration for a better life.”

The latest feud comes despite efforts by Beijing and Washington since January to reconnect after the bilateral relationship bottomed out under former President Donald Trump. But the two sides have clashed over the past two months over issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea.

“Our goal is not to compete with or replace another country. This has never been our national strategy,” said the Chinese ambassador. “We hope people will have a better understanding of this.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying echoed Cui’s words at a press conference on Friday (26), saying “China’s goal has never been to defeat the United States, but to continually surpass itself. To be a better China “.

Officials from the two countries in Anchorage, Alaska last week closed a two-day meeting without issuing a joint statement, saying there will be a new phase of strained relations.

In the CNN interview, however, Cui said the talks in Alaska were “timely” and “useful,” adding that he hopes the meeting will be “the start of a long process of dialogue, communication and possibly coordination between the two parties “.

The Chinese ambassador also denied the allegations of forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in far western China. “I want it to be very clear: China is not doing these things,” Cui said.

“We have created vocational education and training initiatives, in the hope that people will learn more about the law, acquire good skills to improve their lives, find good jobs. It all made a huge difference, ”the ambassador said.

In a coordinated measure, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada applied sanctions on Monday (22) to several senior Chinese officials for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.

In retaliation, China imposed sanctions the same day on 10 people and four European Union institutions. And on Friday, the sanctions were extended to nine British individuals and four entities for what China called “the malicious dissemination of lies and disinformation” about working conditions in Xinjiang.

China has also retaliated against the United States by condemning human rights violations in the country related to epidemic control, gun violence, ethnic conflict, political unrest and social inequality, in a full annual report.

Last week, eight people, including six women of Asian origin and one Chinese, were killed in a shootout at two massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia.

The alleged sniper was Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old white man from suburban Atlanta who said the attacks were motivated by his sex addiction, police said.

“We are very concerned, very shocked by the hate crimes against Asians in the United States,” Cui said. “We just hope the US government will do its best to protect the peoples of Asia.”

The Foreign Office also called on Washington to “severely punish” the killer as soon as possible, according to the law.

Translation by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves

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