America's top foreign policy official has insisted that China poses the biggest threat to "the international order", over and above the Kremlin.
“Even as President Putin’s war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order — and that is the one posed by the People’s Republic of China,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a speech at George Washington University on Thursday.
“China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order, and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it," he added.
“Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.”
The Communist Party, he said, had "become more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad" in recent years. But he added that China was also an integral part of the global economy and that the US and China would have to "deal with each other for the foreseeable future."
China's foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Blinken's speech spread "false information [and[ exaggerates the China threat".
He added: "The purpose is to contain and suppress China's development and maintain US hegemony and power. China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposes [the content]."
The speech came after US President Joe Biden travelled to South Korea and Japan for talks on a number of matters including Beijing.