The Biden administration has faced consistent opposition from Republicans over his perceived weakness in dealing with China, which has made a number of provocative moves in recent years to increase its dominance on the world stage.
GOP critics panned President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last month, which came just days after a suspected Chinese spy balloon was permitted to fly across the continental United States before it was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean.
“He mentioned in passing how he had been really tough, and he pushed back,” said U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX). “But just the opposite. It was a complete show of weakness in my mind.”
This week, Chinese officials seemed to capitalize on that perceived weakness by making some of their most threatening comments to date regarding the possibility of a military conflict with the United States.
Citing the balloon incident as well as America’s position on Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang offered an ominous assertion.
“When jackals and wolves are in power and attack, Chinese diplomats must dance with the wolves to protect their home and country,” he said.
"When jackals and wolves are in power and attack, Chinese diplomats must dance with the wolves to protect their home and country," said China's new Foreign Minister Qin Gang. pic.twitter.com/p2e5uY6EZv
— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) March 7, 2023
Qin went on to warn that if the U.S. “does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation.”
His antagonistic speech turned the tables on Biden’s claim that America only wants “competition” with the communist nation.
“In fact, the U.S. side’s so-called ‘competition’ is all-round containment and suppression, a zero-sum game,” the foreign minister asserted.
Suggesting that such conflict “may be unavoidable unless Washington stops trying to suppress Beijing,” Qin accused the U.S. of stoking tensions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“China is neither the creator of the crisis nor a party to it, nor has it provided weapons to any party to the [Ukraine] conflict, so why should China be blamed, sanctioned, pressured or even threatened?” he asked.
Qin’s remarks came on the heels of similarly bellicose rhetoric from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development,” he said on Monday.