A congressionally-appointed commission has published a report targeting Chinese expansion, ahead of the meeting between US President Trump and Chinese President Xi at the G20 summit in Argentina.
The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (US-China Commission) advises the US Congress on issues of national security, trade and economic relations with China. While preparing the 525-page paper, the experts visited Japan and Taiwan. US-China Commission members didn’t manage to obtain visas to conduct research in China.
The report says that China is looking to change the world order to facilitate the promotion of its interests. It called on Congress to insist that special services investigate the growing access of China to countries participating in the “Belt and Road Initiative” for America’s security. The Commission has also recommended that Congress establish a foundation to provide aid to countries that are susceptible to Chinese economic or diplomatic pressure. In particular, they want to provide the countries of the Indo-Pacific region with digital communication, infrastructure and access to energy resources.
Beijing considers these allegations to be unwarranted and biased, and sees these charges as an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the country.
Li Kai, an expert from the Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, has outlined in a written interview with Sputnik that the logic of the report is deeply flawed.
“The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report is an example of a biased opinion of the Westerners towards China. This misunderstanding is a result of the long-term demonization of China. No matter what the PRC does, in the West, it is interpreted as an evil plan. This concept is deeply rooted. The report states that the US will create a foundation to intrude in China’s projects abroad and neutralize its influence. From my standpoint, this initiative is shortsighted in terms of logic and rationality.”
“The initial intention of China to promote the Belt and Road Initiative is connected to the surplus of economic capacity inside the country, especially in the sphere of infrastructural construction. Demands for these services in China are close to being fully satisfied, and the country is hoping to export its strong construction capacities to other countries and contribute to the satisfaction of global demand in this sphere. Internal overcapacity is what most developing countries really need. If some countries lack funding, China is willing to offer them loans. It’s a win-win strategy for China and the rest of the world.”
The report was leaked to the media the day after US Vice President Mike Pence announced in an interview with The Washington Post that the US is ready for an all-out cold war with China. He said that “the best (if not last) chance to avoid a cold-war scenario with the United States” is for China to “to make massive changes that the United States is demanding in its economic, military and political activities”, adding that “…much of that will depend on Argentina”, alluding to the planned meeting of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Mikhail Belyaev from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies said in the Sputnik interview that this is an “information attack” from the US in the run-up to the meeting of the two leaders, who have many questions to ask to one another. America is trying to show the world that it’s saving the new world order, while China is undermining it. What’s really behind pressuring China?
Kai says: “The objective development of China is the reason. the PRC has been developing rapidly, and not hiding an intention to expand its influence across the world. It, of course, makes America really concerned. The point of no return has already been reached. Through this information war, the US is trying to create a foundation to counter China’s steps forward in the financial and infrastructural spheres. They’ve already missed a moment, where they could influence China’s actions without facing any consequences. I suppose this line has already been crossed. In recent years, China has enhanced its potential for development. The PRC is now one of the leaders in high-tech and finance. Soon the US will have to put up with being at least an equal partner with the prospect of losing its dominant position and ending up on the sidelines.”
A letter sent on Tuesday by two prominent senators to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, has attracted a great deal of attention.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Chris Coons think that if China gains control of the Doraleh Container Terminal, a Djibouti port facility by the Red Sea, it could further boost Beijing’s influence in East Africa.
They see it as a threat to US economic and security interests. Thomas Waldhauser, a USMC general and commander of United States Africa Command, warned Congress several months ago that the US military may face “significant” effects if China takes over the port terminal in Djibouti. The observers outlined that the letter by the senators was sent shortly after the mid-term elections and turned out to be one more PR move to oppose China’s rising influence in the world.