tirsdag 7. mars 2023

China’s Leader, With Rare Bluntness, Blames Troubles on U.S. Containment

As he heads into an expected third term as president, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, is signaling that he will take a harder stance against what he perceives as an effort by the United States to block China’s rise. And he’s doing so in uncommonly blunt terms.

Mr. Xi has hailed China’s success as proof that modernization does not equal Westernization. He has urged China to strive to develop advanced technologies to reduce its reliance on Western know-how. Then on Monday, he made clear what he perceived was the main threat to China’s development: the United States. “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-around containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development,” Mr. Xi said in a speech, according to China’s official news agency.

Mr. Xi’s new directness could play well at home with a nationalist audience but risks raising wariness abroad at a time when Beijing has sought to stabilize ties with the West. It reflects how he is bracing for more confrontation and competition between the world’s two largest economies.