The United States and countries around Europe are stepping up cooperation to respond to “aggressive and coercive” behavior by China, days after the US and its allies launched coordinated sanctions against Chinese officials accused of rights abuses in the far-western Xinjiang region.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that he wants to work with the US’ partners on “how to advance our shared economic interests and to counter some of China’s aggressive and coercive actions, as well as its failures, at least in the past, to uphold its international commitments.”
Blinken spoke after talks in Brussels with NATO foreign ministers. He will raise the tense state of relations with China in talks later Wednesday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
“When we are acting together, we are much stronger and much more effective than if any single one of us is doing it alone,” Blinken said. He noted that alone the U.S. accounts for about 25 percent of global GDP, but up to 60 percent with its allies in Europe and Asia.
“That’s a lot harder for Beijing to ignore,” he said.
On Monday, the US, EU, Britain and Canada imposed asset freezes and travel bans on a group of officials in Xinjiang. China retaliated by slapping sanctions on 10 Europeans, including lawmakers and academics, and four institutions. Beijing said they had damaged China’s interests and “maliciously spread lies and disinformation.”
Initially, China denied the existence of camps for detaining Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang but has since described them as centers to provide job training and to reeducate those exposed to radical jihadi thinking. Officials deny all charges of human rights abuses there.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance does not “regard China as an adversary, but of course the rise of China has direct consequences for our security.”
He noted the size of China’s economy and its heavy investment in military equipment, including nuclear-capable missiles.
“More importantly, China is a country that doesn’t share our values. We see that in the way they deal with democratic protests in Hong Kong, how they suppress minorities in their own country, the Uyghurs, and also how they actually try to undermine the international rules-based order,” Stoltenberg said.
China accuses EU of ‘bullying’, ‘hypocrisy’ over escalating Uighur rowBeijing accused the EU of “hypocrisy” on Wednesday after the two sides summoned each other’s envoys in an escalating row over the treatment of China’s ... World News
Russia, China push for UN summit, lash out at West amid heightened tensionsRussia and China said on Tuesday they wanted a summit of permanent members of the UN Security Council amid what they called heightened political ... World News
Australia, New Zealand welcome sanctions against China over human rights abusesAustralia and New Zealand on Tuesday welcomed the United States, European Union, Canada and Britain taking joint action to impose sanctions on senior ... World News
US sanctions senior China officials over Xinjiang genocide of Uighur MuslimsA Treasury Department official said China would continue to face the consequences “as long as atrocities occur in Xinjiang” World News
Tense US-China talks highlight need for better crisis management: Chinese advisorThe failure of this week’s US-China meeting to build strategic trust has heightened the need for Beijing and Washington to improve crisis management ... World News
US, China spar in first face-to-face meeting under BidenTop US and Chinese officials offered sharply different views of each other and the world as the two sides met face-to-face for the first time since ... World News
Talks with China were ‘tough and direct,’ senior US officialThe first talks between President Joe Biden’s administration and China were “tough and direct” but found some areas where the rival superpowers’ ... World News