China urges the US to suspend its initiative to contain the Asian giant

The China Initiative was launched to probe the theft of trade secrets as well as economic espionage activities considered threats to US national security. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China has urged the United States to correct its practice of using an initiative to contain China and to stop disturbing normal bilateral communication as well as cooperation in areas such as science and people-to-people exchanges.

More than 20 Asian-American advocacy groups sent a letter to US President Joe Biden last Thursday (Aug 19), urging the US administration to suspend its "China Initiative" and review whether the programme unfairly targeted individuals based on their race and ethnicity.

The China Initiative was launched by the US Justice Department in 2018 to probe the theft of trade secrets as well as economic espionage activities considered threats to US national security.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news conference on Monday that the so-called initiative was launched to incriminate people. Such a practice disregarded justice and can only lead to wrong or false convictions, he said.

The US government recently dropped a number of cases because of lack of evidence and that has led to a growing outcry that the investigations into these scientists and researchers were based on them being from China or other Asian countries.

The initiative is in essence a tool for a few anti-China politicians to oppress China by abusing the concept of national security, Mr Wang said.

The initiative not only damaged China-US relations, but also worsened racial discrimination in the US and harmed Asian Americans, he said.

Mr Wang urged Washington to stop treating Beijing as an imaginary enemy and making excuses to tarnish China and crack down on it.

Also on Monday, Mr Wang said China will not coerce, nor will it be coerced by any country, and that the US should keep the label of coercer for itself.

He made the remarks after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed support for Lithuania in its dispute with China when Mr Blinken spoke with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on the phone last Saturday.

"The ins and outs of the diplomatic spat between China and Lithuania are very clear," Mr Wang said at the news conference.

China has decided to recall its ambassador to Lithuania and has demanded that Lithuania recall its ambassador, after the Lithuanian government recently allowed the Taiwan authorities to establish a "representative office" in the name of "Taiwan", despite repeated representations from China.

Mr Wang said China has the right to make a firm and necessary response to provocative moves that undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province to be reunified, by force if necessary.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.