US official calls on Europe to help Washington counter competition from Beijing

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PARIS (AFP) – US Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Thursday (2 June) condemned China’s undermining of European security, economy and values, calling on Europe to help the United States to counter competition from Beijing.

“Even before President Xi (Jinping) and President (Vladimir) Putin declared their ‘limitless’ partnership in February, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) challenged Europe’s security, the economy of the ‘Europe and the values ​​of Europe,’ said Ms Sherman, speaking from Washington. , told European reporters via video link.

His comments follow a speech by his boss, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who recently identified Beijing as the main threat to world order, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Washington accuses Beijing of wanting to reshape the world order.

In a May 25 speech, Blinken said Washington was engaged in vigorous competition with Beijing to preserve the current world order.

The Biden administration has spoken of the need to pressure China to play by the rules, including in its South China Sea and trade disputes.

“Although Beijing is thousands of miles away…, the actions of the PRC matter just as much for the future of Europe,” Ms. Sherman said, welcoming ongoing cooperation with Europe while seeking “to align our approaches”.

She added that “we are looking at all supply chain issues,” following the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“The United States does not seek to enter into conflict” with China or to “separate our economy from the PRC”.

“We don’t want a new Cold War,” she said, but “we can’t rely on Beijing to change its behavior.”

She also stressed that the United States was vigilant about the Russia-China alliance, threatening Beijing with “consequences” if the Chinese authorities ever decided to send military equipment to Russia.

“Quite frankly, I think Russia and Putin will be an outcast for a very long time and I’m not sure the PRC will benefit from that,” she added.

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