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'China’s Xi Warns Against Confrontation in Veiled Message to Biden'

The Wall Street Journal

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

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James T. Areddy | The Wall Street Journal

'China’s Xi Warns Against Confrontation in Veiled Message to Biden''China’s Xi Warns Against Confrontation in Veiled Message to Biden'
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Multi-Lateralism, Chinese-Style
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Multi-Lateralism, Chinese-Style
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Multi-Lateralism, Chinese-Style

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Multi-Lateralism, Chinese-Style

‘Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning against the new Biden administration’s preparations to rally allies to challenge Beijing on a range of issues.’

‘Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning against the new Biden administration’s preparations to rally allies to challenge Beijing on a range of issues, urging multilateral coordination to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic.’

  • ‘ “To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, to create isolation or estrangement, will only push the world into division and even confrontation,” Mr. Xi told the World Economic Forum, which this year is convening online instead of in the ski town of Davos, Switzerland.’

‘In urging multilateral engagement to discuss disagreements, Mr. Xi offered no initiatives to address Western criticisms of Chinese policies in such areas as trade, human rights and the military.’

  • ‘Yet he warned, “It serves no one’s interest to use the pandemic as an excuse to reverse globalization and go for seclusion and decoupling.” ’
  • ‘His emphasis on warning against action by “one or the few” comes as Mr. Biden’s team is looking for ways to rebuild American alliances that were tested during the Trump administration.’

‘Mr. Xi’s defense of multilateralism harked to his 2017 debut in Davos when he warned “no one will emerge a winner in a trade war” days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president.’

  • ‘After going toe-to-toe over trade, the U.S. and China in early 2020 signed a deal but left in place tariffs and acrimony on both sides.’
  • ‘Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, introduced Mr. Xi to the virtual forum on Monday by recalling his previous appearance at Davos and saying that it was followed by “the age of disagreement.” ’

‘White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that Mr. Xi’s comments don’t change how the administration is looking at issues related to China but that the White House aims to improve its defensive strategy, including on technology.’

  • ‘ “No, the comments don’t change anything,” Ms. Psaki said. “We believe this moment requires a strategic and a new approach forward.” ’
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