Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a rare public attack on the US, accusing it of attempting to "contain" China. Xi made the comments during an annual gathering of an advisory body to the Communist Party, where he was meeting with industry and business groups.
Xi accused Western countries, led by the US, of implementing "all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China,” adding that the efforts have brought "severe challenges" to China's continued economic development and growth, the New York Times reported.
Michael Swaine, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, stated that he was not aware of the Chinese leader making such a targeted criticism of the US before.
Swaine said to the Times, to his knowledge, that it was the first time the Chinese leader “has publicly come out and identified the US as taking such actions.”
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang warned Washington that it risks "conflict and confrontation" if it doesn't "hit the brakes" on its current course.
During a speech on the sidelines of an ongoing session of the Chinese legislature, Qin accused the US of using underhanded tactics to contain and suppress China.
“The US claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, its so-called ‘competition’ means to contain and suppress China in all respects,” Qin said.
“If the US does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” he added. Qin previously served as the Chinese ambassador to the US.
Washington has imposed economic restrictions on China, including the 2022 ban on exporting certain semiconductors to the country.
The US has accused China of undermining a "rules-based order." Tensions escalated last month after Washington accused China of flying a "spy balloon" over American soil, which China said was a stray weather aircraft.