China slams Biden claims 'exemplary' record in observing international rules

K J M Varma
·3-min read

Beijing, Mar 26 (PTI) China on Friday hit back at US President Joe Biden for his assertion that he would make Beijing accountable to follow international rules, saying that it has an “exemplary” record in observing the UN-based international system, while Washington “lagged far behind”.

The relations between the US and China are at an all-time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the communist giant’s aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.

Addressing his first news conference after becoming US President, Biden said “we are going to hold China accountable to follow the rules, to follow the rules, whether it relates to the South China Sea or the North China Sea or the agreement made on Taiwan or a whole range of other things”.

Rebutting his remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here that “I would like to stress that first US asking China to abide by the international rule of law. There is no such issue because there is only one system in the world that is the UN-based international system and one set of rules, the international norms based on the UN charter purposes and principles”.

On Biden’s remarks that Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn't have a democratic bone in his body and like Russian President Vladimir Putin believes “autocracy is the wave of the future,' Hua said, judging of the merit of a political system should be whether it suits the country’s reality and brings political stability and social progress improvement of livelihoods and gains people’s support and contributes to human progress.

She said “no matter how a country brags about its democratic values but it does nothing when half million people die of COVID-19 and 45,000 die of gun shots every year, just fake evidence to strike sovereign states killing innocents and displacing more, then it is no position to pride itself as beacon of democracy.' She claimed “China adopts a people centred philosophy in clear contrast with the US election politics and partisan strife, the Communist Party of China and the government serves the Chinese people, completed the poverty alleviation targets of the 2030 Sustainable Developmental Goals a decade ahead of the schedule and established the world’s largest social security network, covering all the people and ensuring access to housing and education and medical insurance.' On Biden’s comments that the US is not looking for confrontation, while there will be “steep, steep competition” and China will not emerge as the wealthiest and most powerful country under his watch, Hua said “we noticed Biden said the US has no intention to seek confrontation”.

'China stands ready to work with our President’s call and we hope the US can work in the same direction with us and deal with the relations following the spirit of no conflict and no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,' she said.

On competition, she said “as the largest economies in the world it is only more natural that China and US will have competition while our interests are intertwined.' “We want to have sound competition on the basis of equality and fairness so that we can improve ourselves and each other instead of pursuing a zero-sum mentality”, she said.

'Our goal is never overtaking the US, it is about becoming a better version of China,' she said.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing has also made substantial progress in militarising its man-made islands in the past few years.

Beijing claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims. In the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes with Japan. PTI KJV AMS AKJ AMS