Anti-China defense act slammed

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/14 23:38:40

US ‘freakish’ diplomacy confusing the world

Three of China's top ministries voiced on Tuesday strong concern and consternation over the new US defense act that declares competition with China  a principal priority and vows to take "comprehensive measures" to contain Beijing.

The ministries of foreign affairs, commerce and national defense each voiced specific concerns over the law that was signed by US President Donald Trump on Monday.

China's foreign affairs and national defense ministries said they strongly oppose the act, saying that stern representations have been lodged, while the commerce ministry said it will conduct a full evaluation of the act and closely monitor its impact on Chinese companies.

"We are deeply dissatisfied with the US' passing and signing of the act, which includes negative China-related content and disregards China's firm opposition," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Tuesday.

China also urges the US not to implement the act's negative clauses about China to avoid damaging bilateral ties and cooperation, Lu said.

"The Taiwan question concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Tuesday.

"We also sternly warn the Democratic Progressive Party administration that relying on foreigners to build yourself up will damage the interests of Taiwan residents," Ma said. 

The US National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, is a spending bill that authorized $716 billion for 2019.

Apart from the hyping China's military deployment in the South China Sea and accusations that China has launched cyber attacks on the US, the act also states that the US Congress declares that "long-term strategic competition with China is a principal priority."

The article in the NDAA demands that the US president submit a report containing a "whole-of-government strategy" with respect to China before March 2019, which is to include diplomatic, economic, intelligence, law enforcement, and military elements to counter China.

The act shows that the US leadership has reached a consensus that China is the "top threat" to the country, Zhang Jiadong, director of Fudan University's Center of South Asian Studies in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Instead of getting stuck in a tit-for-tat trap with the US, China should focus more on domestic reforms and national development, said Zhang. As China becomes stronger, foreign countries will find it more costly and less effective to attempt to contain China, he said.

'Top threat'

The NDAA strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) which reviews investment proposals to determine if they are a threat to national security, a move seen as targeting China, Reuters reported.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said the US should treat Chinese investors in an objective and fair manner and not use national security as a pretext to block investment from China, a MOFCOM spokesperson said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Strengthening the role of CFIUS will make Chinese investment even more difficult than it has been since the US heightened scrutiny of foreign investment from China, said Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations.

The article in the NDAA enhancing the power of CFIUS is a dangerous sign that the world's largest economy is continuing to politicize trade as a potential threat to national security, Li said.

Both Chinese and US enterprises are willing partners and have huge potential for cooperation, and the two governments should listen to their voices, said the MOFCOM statement.

China's Ministry of National Defense (MOD) on Tuesday said the NDAA "interferes with China's internal affairs" by authorizing the US to strengthen defense and security cooperation with the island of Taiwan. "We will not allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China at any time, in any form," MOD spokesperson Wu Qian said in the statement that called the act an attempt to "hype a confrontation between China and the US."

"China is not the only victim of narrow-minded nationalist sentiment from the US. The self-centered and freakish diplomacy of the US has also confused other countries and hindered global efforts on shared challenges," said Li.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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