China says it will ‘firmly defend’ interests after US President Biden’s State of the Union address

China's foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning urged the US to "push Sino-US relations back to the track of healthy and stable development". PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING - China said on Wednesday that it would “firmly defend” its interests, and urged the United States to work on repairing relations, after President Joe Biden took aim at Beijing during his annual State of the Union address to Congress.

“We will firmly defend China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning told a regular briefing, urging the US to “work with China to push Sino-US relations back to the track of healthy and stable development”.

“China has always believed that China-US relations are not a zero-sum game in which ‘you lose and I win, you prosper and I decline’.”

In the annual speech to assembled lawmakers, many of whom have pressed for a hard line on China, Mr Biden called for US investment in the military, technology and alliances to take on the country widely viewed as the US’ chief competitor.

“I’m committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world,” Mr Biden said earlier.

“But make no mistake about it – as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” he said to applause, adding that “winning the competition” with China should unite Americans.

Ms Mao said Beijing opposed the use of “competition” to define China’s relations with the US.

“We are also opposed to using competition to slander a country, restrict its legitimate development rights, and even harm the global industrial supply chain. These are not actions of a responsible power,” she said on Wednesday.

“The US should establish an objective and rational understanding of China, pursue a positive and pragmatic China policy, and work with China to push China-US relations back onto the track of healthy and stable development.” AFP

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