Mar 04, 2021 11:18 UTC
  • US ‘biggest threat’ to China’s development, security: President Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping says the United States is the “biggest threat” to his country’s development and security, amid simmering tensions between Beijing and the new administration in Washington.

Xi was quoted by The New York Times as making the remarks on Wednesday while he was outlining Beijing’s development plans and economic outlook after emergence from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The biggest source of chaos in the present-day world is the United States,” the Chinese president said. ​“The United States is the biggest threat to our country’s development and security.”

“The East is growing and the West is declining,” President Xi said.

The Chinese leader is scheduled this week to talk more about his country’s development strategy at the National People’s Congress — the main legislative body of the People's Republic of China — and to unveil a long-term blueprint for navigating in the new global environment.

Xi’s remarks came in an apparent response to a similar comment from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who claimed that China was the main “geopolitical challenge” of the 21st century.

Biden instructed the Pentagon last month to create a working group to review a military strategy toward China. The US president also called on the European Union (EU) at the Munich Security Conference to act as a united front with Washington in confronting Beijing.

In his first telephone conversation with the US president, Xi had said that a confrontation between China and the United States would be a “disaster” and that the two countries should resolve matters between them peacefully.

President Xi told Biden that the two sides would sometimes have different views but “the key is to respect each other, treat each other as equals, and properly manage and handle them in a constructive manner.”

China is expected to reveal a robust increase in its military budget at the March 5 annual opening of the country’s parliament.