The Chinese head of state accuses the US and its western allies of wanting to suppress his country, which poses a major challenge.
With unusually direct words, China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping accused the US and the West of trying to slow down his country’s rise in the world. On the fringes of the current annual session of the People’s Congress in Beijing, the president said, according to the state media on Tuesday, that the environment for China’s development had “changed dramatically” and that the imponderables had increased sharply.
“Western countries in particular, led by the United States, are pursuing all-out containment, encirclement and suppression of China, posing unprecedented severe challenges for China’s development.” At the same time, China is facing multiple difficulties, said Xi Jinping, citing repeated Covid-19 outbreaks and increasing pressure on the second-largest economy as examples.
Xi combined his rhetorical attack on the West with an appeal to his own economy. He called on Chinese companies to strengthen innovation. This is important in order to become more independent in the field of technology, said the President. Prime Minister Li Keqiang specified that a “nationwide strategy” is needed to outperform the United States in space travel or chip manufacturing. China announced its growth target for 2023 last Sunday: at five percent, it is one of the lowest forecasts in decades.
Xi’s open criticism contrasted with previous statements in which China’s leaders had mostly spoken vaguely of “certain countries” without directly naming the United States or the West. The comments came during discussions with delegates to the Consultative Conference, an advisory body of distinguished figures that meets in parallel with the People’s Congress.