The United States said on Monday that President Xi Jinping was leading China in a more “aggressive” direction but had renewed his desire to cooperate on common interests as he prepares for a historic third term.
Xi touted his own response to Covid and corruption on Sunday as he launched a Communist Party congress expected to give him another five years at the helm of the nation of more than a billion people.
“We have seen a very different China emerge in recent years under the leadership of Xi Jinping,” Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said.
“She’s more repressive on the inside, she’s more aggressive on the outside. And in many cases that poses a challenge to our own interests as well as our own values,” he said at a Stanford University forum with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
But Mr Blinken said the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies should not be reduced to a “bumper mark”.
He said the world “basically expects” the two powers to work together on climate change, global health and possibly drug trafficking.
“We know that we will not be able to manage the climate as we should if China is not part of the picture,” he said.
Beijing “simply needs to respond to the signals of demand it receives from countries around the world to be a positive actor, not a negative actor, on issues that affect them.”
Global problems “are much harder to solve if the United States and China are not really engaged,” Blinken said.
Xi is expected to meet President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit next month in Bali, their first meeting since the two men became their countries’ top leaders.
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