US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced, during a meeting yesterday with his counterparts in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), that Washington considers China a threat to common security, but will not force its allies to choose “between the United States and China”, while China condemns the European “harassment and hypocrisy” After summoning its ambassadors in several countries, following the sanctions imposed by Beijing on European parliamentarians and organizations.
Blinken said in a speech at the conclusion of the meeting: “We know that our allies have complex relations with China that will not always coincide with our relations, and the United States will not force its allies to choose between us and them.”
“There is no doubt that China’s behavior threatens our common security and prosperity, but that does not mean that countries cannot work with China when possible,” he added. The United States will. We cannot fail to do that, especially in terms of challenges such as climate change and health safety. ”
He added that Washington wants to work with its partners “to bridge the gap in sectors such as technology and infrastructure that China uses to exert coercive pressure.”
Blinken’s words represent a major shift in US policy compared to former President Donald Trump, who was pressing hard on Washington’s allies to adopt a tougher approach with Beijing.
According to excerpts from the text, Blinken said the United States wants to compete with China, not just seek to defeat it. It also indicates providing room for backing down for allies who have not boosted defense spending as much as the United States wanted.
The United States still says that NATO members should increase defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024, a goal for the alliance that has become a major demand under Trump.
But Blinken also acknowledges that there are other ways to gauge allies’ commitments, indicating that the Biden administration is prepared to offer an ultimatum.
“We must admit that, given that the Allies have distinct capabilities and relative strengths, they will bear their share of the burden in different ways,” Blinken added.
Blinken’s speech reached the point of rejecting the approach of the Trump era, in which the United States called on other countries to increase spending immediately, and hinted that they need to choose between the United States and China.
Earlier yesterday, Blinken urged Turkey to abandon the Russian S-400 missile system, and criticized it for withdrawing from an agreement to combat violence against women.
The Foreign Ministry stated, in a statement, that “Foreign Minister Blinken urged Turkey not to keep the Russian S-400 missile defense system,” on the sidelines of the NATO meeting.
She added that Blinken “expressed his concerns about Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Agreement to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, and highlighted the importance of democratic institutions and respect for human rights.”
Blinken said last Tuesday, “It is not a secret that we have differences with Turkey,” but he added, “It is also no secret that Turkey is a long-term and valuable ally, and I think that we have strong interests in preserving its association with NATO.”
This comes at a time when China condemned, yesterday, the “harassment and hypocrisy” of Europeans after summoning its ambassadors in several countries.
“China does not accept this irrational way from some European countries to summon its ambassadors,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Shunying told reporters.
Upon summoning them, the Chinese ambassadors declared “clearly the position” of their country and “formally protested against the Europeans.”
After the Netherlands the day before, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Lithuania summoned Beijing’s ambassadors the day before yesterday. It is assumed that Belgium and Italy will take the same step after Beijing imposed sanctions on 10 members of the European Parliament.
The Chinese regime has thus responded to the sanctions imposed by the European Union to suppress the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in northwestern China.
Beijing, in turn, has summoned a number of European ambassadors accredited to Beijing.
“The Europeans allow themselves to defame others, attack them and impose arbitrary sanctions based on information and lies, but they refuse to allow China to respond and counter that,” Hua said.
She added that the sharpest comments came from Paris, where the French Foreign Ministry criticized Ambassador Le Shay yesterday, accusing him of launching “insults, insults and threats” against the researcher Antoine Bundaz and French parliamentarians intending to go to the island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers an integral part of Chinese territory.
Paris said that “these methods of intimidation are unacceptable and go beyond all generally accepted limits for any embassy.”
In a statement, the Chinese embassy described the expert on Asia at the “Foundation for Strategic Research” (FRS), Bundaz, as “a reckless young man” and a “mad dog.”
In response to a question, Hua criticized the French expert, and a Beijing spokeswoman said, “We expect France to curb the researcher and ask him to stop spreading rumors and defamation in China.”
North Korea: European sanctions are a “despicable political provocation”
The day before yesterday, North Korea condemned the sanctions imposed by the European Union this week on senior Pyongyang officials for violating human rights, describing it as a “despicable political provocation” resulting from “a psychotic way of thinking.”
The 27 member states of the European Union imposed sanctions on 10 individuals and four legal entities located in six countries, including China, Russia and North Korea, for human rights violations.
The decision angered Beijing and a diplomatic dispute between China, the main supporter of North Korea and European Union member states.
A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry condemned the measures, saying they were “disastrous political tools” raised by “the stubborn contradiction of the European Union coupled with a psychotic style of thinking.”
The spokesman said in a statement entitled “Absurd action will only lead to shame” published by the official Korean Central News Agency, Tuesday, that the sanctions are part of an anti-North Korean policy and constitute “an abominable political provocation.” Seoul – AFP
– Blinken urged Turkey not to maintain the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
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