Sunday, February 28, 2021

US must impose cost on China for threat towards Taiwan, Hong Kong: Sullivan

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The United States must be prepared to “impose cost” on China for its threats toward Taiwan, as well for its actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

In an online discussion with his predecessor from the Trump administration, Robert O’Brien’ on Friday, Sullivan called China as the top foreign policy challenge that was handed over to President Joe Biden, citing Beijing increasingly “assertive” approach to Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, reported Focus Taiwan.

In response, Sullivan listed out four steps that the US can take to contend with the threat that China poses.

First, he said, US must recognise that China is making the case that Chinese model is better than the American model and is pointing to the recent dysfunction and division in the US as evidence of this claim.

To effectively combat this argument, the US must “refurbish the foundations of (its) democracy” by tackling social problems such as racial and economic inequality, Sullivan said.

Secondly, he said, the US will be most effective in advancing its vision for a free, prosperous and equitable society if it does so “in lockstep with its democratic allies and partners.”

With its allies in Europe and Asia, the US can lead “a chorus of voices” who collectively represent more than one half of the world’s economy, which would give it “leverage” to stand up to Chinese pressure, he said.

Third, Sullivan said, the U.S. must increase public investment in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology and clean energy, as a great deal of the competition between the U.S. and China will be decided by which country enjoys a technological advantage.

The last step, according to Sullivan, is for the US to speak with clarity and consistency in regards to China and other foreign policy issues.

Specifically, this includes “being prepared to act as well as to impose costs for what China is doing in Xinjiang, what it’s doing in Hong Kong, and for the bellicosity and threats that it is projecting towards Taiwan,” he said.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.

China had passed the Hong Kong Security Law last year to curtail the autonomy of the city, which drew international condemnation.

In the aftermath of the law, Beijing launched a crackdown against its critics in Hong Kong. Several lawmakers and pro-democracy activists have been detained.

Another aspect of Chinese policy that has been questioned by leaders around the world is the treatment meted out against Uyghurs Muslims in Xinjiang province.

China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

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