US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has accused China of behaving more aggressively abroad and more repressive at home.
In an interview with US CBS News, Blinken said that Beijing is behaving in increasingly hostile ways, but stressed that the military confrontation is completely against the interests of the two countries.
Blinken said President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping covered a wide range of topics in their first conversation, via a two-hour phone call.
“President Biden has made clear – in a number of areas that we have – real concerns about the actions that China has taken, which include in the economic sphere the theft of intellectual property rights,” he added.
Blinken declined to call China the enemy, despite being accused of stealing hundreds of billions of dollars in trade secrets and intellectual property from the United States.
“It certainly looks like the behavior of someone trying to compete unfairly, and in increasingly hostile ways,” Blinken said. “But we are more effective and stronger when we bring like-minded and likewise affected countries together, to say to Beijing: This is intolerable, and it will not pass.”
On Friday, President Joe Biden’s administration said that China had failed to fulfill its obligations to protect US intellectual property in the “first phase” of the two countries’ trade agreement signed last year.
Blinken said Washington was not trying to restrain China, but it would not allow it to undermine what he called “the rules-based international order.”
Blinken criticized the “violations carried out by Beijing against the Muslim Uyghur minority” in Xinjiang.
“We have made it clear that we see a genocide against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. More than a million people have been placed in concentration camps or re-education camps. When Beijing says there is a terrorist threat, we don’t see it. It certainly doesn’t come from a million people,” he said.
The US Secretary of State arrived in London on Sunday, to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven, which is being held face to face for the first time in more than two years. China is expected to be among the topics to be discussed by the group’s ministers.