China has been an aggressor against India along the Himalayan border, a top US diplomat nominated by President Joe Biden as his next envoy to Beijing has told lawmakers the US should hold the Chinese government accountable for not following the rules .
Nicholas Burns told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members at his hearing on Wednesday that the US will challenge China where it needs to, including when Beijing takes actions that go against America’s values and interests; threaten the security of the United States or its allies and partners; or undermine the rules-based international order.
“Beijing has been an aggressor against India along their Himalayan border; against Vietnam, the Philippines and others in the South China Sea; against Japan in the East China Sea; and has launched an intimidation campaign against Australia and Lithuania,” Burns said.
China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims.
Beijing is embroiled in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It built up and militarized many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are said to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital for global trade.
Burns, who served as the Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008, said the “Chinese genocide in Xinjiang and abuses in Tibet, the stifling of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, and the bullying of Taiwan are unjust and must stop”.
Beijing’s recent actions against Taiwan are particularly reprehensible and the US is right to stick to its one-China policy, he said.
“We are also right to support the peaceful resolution of disputes and oppose unilateral actions that undermine the status quo and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” said Burns, who led the negotiations for the landmark United States agreement. and India, against US lawmakers. .
Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state, but China considers the self-governed island a breakaway province. Beijing does not rule out the possible use of force to achieve unification.
Burns told lawmakers that the US will compete and compete vigorously with China where it should, including on jobs and the economy, critical infrastructure and emerging technologies.
The US will work with China where it is in its best interests, including on climate change, counter-narcotics, global health and non-proliferation, he told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members.
China, he said, aims to become the most powerful military, economic and political player in the Indo-Pacific.
“We must stand with our allies and partners to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, including by maintaining America’s commercial and military superiority in 21st-century technologies.
“We must also hold the PRC (People’s Republic of China) responsible for non-compliance with trade and investment rules, including intellectual property theft, use of state subsidies, dumping of goods and unfair labor practices.
“These actions harm American workers and businesses,” Burns added.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies broke out on May 5 last year after a violent clash in the areas of Lake Pangong and both sides gradually improved their commitment by pouring in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weapons.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the process of withdrawal in the Gogra area in August and in the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong in February. However, India and China failed to make progress in their 13th round of military talks on Oct. 10 in resolving the 17-month standoff in the remaining points of friction in eastern Ladakh.
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