International

White House report blasts Chinese ‘malign activities’

President Donald Trump pointing towards China on a chart showing daily mortality cases, in this file photo.

President Donald Trump pointing towards China on a chart showing daily mortality cases, in this file photo.   | Photo Credit: ALEXANDER DRAGO

The report expands on Trump’s tough rhetoric in hopes that it will resonate with voters angry at China

Beyond its hard-hitting rhetoric against China over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House has issued a broad-scale attack on Beijing’s predatory economic policies, military buildup, disinformation campaigns and human rights violations.

The 20-page report does not signal a shift in U.S. policy, according to a senior administration official, who was not authorised to publicly discuss the report and spoke only on the condition of anonymity, but it expands on President Donald Trump’s get-tough rhetoric that he hopes will resonate with voters angry about China’s handling of thepandemic, which has left millions of Americans out of work.

“The media’s focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949. For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us — through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the World Trade Organization as a developing nation. That didn’t happen,” he said. “We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”

Later, the State Department announced that it had approved the sale of advanced torpedoes to the Taiwanese military. China regards the island as a renegade province. The department said it had informed Congress of the $180 million sale of heavy-weight torpedoes, which “will help improve the security of (Taiwan) and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 2:18:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/white-house-report-blasts-chinese-malign-activities/article31643985.ece

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