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Biden’s Asia Czar says China’s to blame for its diplomatic woes, United States News & Top Stories


WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – China has only itself to blame for a global backlash against its policies, the White House’s top official for Asia said.

“Over the last year or two the country that has done the most to create problems for China is not the United States but China,” Mr Kurt Campbell, the US coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council said on Tuesday (June 8) at an event hosted by the Centre for a New American Security.

Mr Campbell said the Chinese foreign policy establishment understands that the country’s policies, which include militarising artificial islands and outcroppings in the South China Sea and a more assertive approach to global diplomacy, have helped to cause a global backlash against Beijing.

“But is that getting through to the most inner-circle in the Chinese leadership? I think that’s a question we can’t answer,” Mr Campbell said.

Here are his remarks on other key Asia-related topics:

Xi Jinping is increasingly the single leader of China rather than being part of a “coherent team of leaders”, as past Chinese presidents have been. Mr Campbell said there is a “smaller and smaller group” of people who help shepherd the Chinese president’s decision-making.

Asked about comments in late May when he said that China’s top diplomats Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi were “nowhere near, within a hundred miles” of Xi’s inner circle, Mr Campbell said he had “great regard for both men. They are able representatives of China”.

The “Quad” bloc of nations, which comprises the United States, Japan, India and Australia, is focused on “deepening” its cooperation ahead of a potential in-person meeting of leaders later this year, Mr Campbell said. He added that other countries had shown “interest” in the grouping and that involvement was not closed to others.

Mr Campbell said the recent visit of a group of US senators to Taiwan helped to demonstrate that the US is “standing with Taiwan”. He said America is committed to continuing to provide defensive “articles” to Taiwan, but that the island also needs to take steps to strengthen its own defences.

Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a Senate panel on Tuesday that while attention focuses on “large weapons systems”, the US “should focus on helping Taiwan strengthen its asymmetric capabilities like reserve force reform”.

Mr Campbell said the situation in Myanmar was “deeply concerning” and “continuing to get worse”. He said that the US is working with allies to tell the government that its actions have been counterproductive. It is “undeniable that violence is spiraling”, he said.





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