The man whose mendacity unleashed a deadly pandemic on the world has a complaint to make: The West, in pushing back on Xi Jinping’s aggression, risks starting “a new cold war.”
And the Chinese president had the nerve to deliver the warning after a weekend of Communist military bellicosity targeting tiny Taiwan.
“To build small cliques or start a new cold war, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, to create isolation or estrangement will only push the world into division and even confrontation,” Xi said in his keynote address to the World Economic Forum.
This year’s forum is virtual, not the usual gathering in Switzerland’s Davos resort, thanks to the pandemic China’s government made more deadly through a coverup it continues to this day. When Australia called for an international investigation of the pandemic’s origins, an angry Beijing slapped restrictions and tariffs on Aussie imports and continues its own “cold war” against Canberra on multiple fronts.
Yet Xi’s speech still insisted any confrontation, whether a “cold war, hot war, trade war or tech war” would “end up harming every nation’s interests and sacrificing people’s welfare.”
Laughable, when Beijing sent eight bombers and four fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace Saturday and another 15 aircraft Sunday. The regime is relentlessly upping its assets in the South China Sea — a message not just to Taiwan, which it considers its property, but to the several nations that dispute China’s claim of sovereignty over much of the area.
Washington responded quickly Saturday, sending a strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the South China Sea. “With two-thirds of the world’s trade travelling through this very important region, it is vital that we maintain our presence and continue to promote the rules-based order which has allowed us all to prosper,” task force commander Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo stated. The State Department called it a move to protect “freedom of the seas” and the “rock-solid” US commitment to Taiwan.
Xi’s “small cliques” jab may refer to President Biden’s plans to build an alliance to hold China to account. Tony Blinken, Biden’s just-confirmed secretary of state, told the Senate last week, “President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China.”
Let’s hope the new administration continues to stand up to China’s dangerous bluster.
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