Hype over China-related topics 'taking the same page' from Washington's playbook
Biden admin should not waste any goodwill to stabilize China-US relations: experts
Published: Jun 13, 2023 09:59 PM
Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

Washington continued hyping China-related topics ahead of a reported trip by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China as the Biden administration said it has "taken diplomatic steps" that slowed China's intelligence presence overseas following its recent hype over an alleged "Cuba spy base." The latest US move was criticized by China on Tuesday as "taking the same page" of the US' playbook. 

Chinese experts also warned that the senior US official may use this trip and some topics of concern as a bargaining chip while continuing to hype the so-called China threat. Considering the recent words and deeds emanating from the US side, the trip, if it happens, would be ill-intentioned, some experts said. They said they believe there is a strong opposition force within Washington against the possible improvement of US-China relations, as any positive signs could make the Biden administration appear to be too soft. 

The Biden administration has taken "diplomatic steps" that have slowed down a Chinese effort to "project military power" around the world, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, as the Reuters reported. 

Washington's top diplomat was asked at a press conference about Washington's response to a Wall Street Journal report last week that cited US officials as saying a new "spying effort" was underway on Cuba, according to the media report. 

China has already refuted the US' groundless accusations that China uses a secret base in Cuba to spy on the US. And some Chinese experts warned that the US' groundless accusations could become another "spy balloon incident" that may once again drag on Washington's plan to reengage with China.

"I've stated China's position on similar questions several times. The US has been taking the same page from its playbook and people are already quite familiar with it," Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a routine press conference on Tuesday. 

We hope the US will take a hard look at itself, stop propagating rumors and smears, and stop being a champion of hacking with its indiscriminate surveillance on other countries, Wang said. 

Despite both the National Security Council spokesperson and Pentagon press official had said that reports about the so-called spy base in Cuba are inaccurate, senior US officials, congressmen and media continue to fuel the speculation, showing their malicious intent, Ma Hui, Chinese Ambassador to Cuba, told the Global Times on late Tuesday. 

“The US’ claim that China is committed to expanding its military presence globally is a complete misrepresentation,” Ma said.

In the eyes of Chinese experts, there has been a growing contradiction between the US' actions and the continual signals it sends indicating a desire for engagement with China, which only fuels more doubts about the US' sincerity and its true intention. 

"Blinken may include some of topics of concern in the visit and use it to continue hyping the 'threat of China,' this indicates the visit would be ill-intentioned," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Whether the trip could be realized or not, it won't slow down the US containment against China, and although Washington claimed to have tried to seek communication with China, its true intention is smearing and suppressing China, Li said. 

On Monday, the US Commerce Department announced to put 43 entities into its so-called Entity List, including 31 Chinese entities as it restricted exports to entities that it says recruited Western pilots to train Chinese military personnel and help develop hypersonic weapons. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US act on Tuesday, saying that the US abused state power to go after Chinese companies, trampled on international trade order and global trade rules and destabilized global industrial and supply chains hysterically by all kinds of means.

Besides targeting the Chinese companies, the US continued hyping the Taiwan question, as some US media reported on Monday that the US government is preparing "evacuation plans" for American citizens living in Taiwan due to concerns over the escalation of the situation in the Taiwan Straits. 

Before the US started its recent push to engage with China, there have been "some little tricks," making others doubt its credibility, and they are likely to leverage those topics as bargaining chips in talks with China, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

“The US should cherish a possible positive trend for the US-China engagement and not waste any goodwill to stabilize bilateral relations,” Diao said.