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.