China on Tuesday lashed out at the United States following President Donald Trump’s presentation of the new national security strategy, during which he said China was a rival and that America would challenge it.
“We urge the United States to stop deliberately distorting China’s strategic intentions and abandon a Cold War mentality,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “Otherwise it will injure others and damage itself.”
And, the Chinese Embassy in Washington also made a statement: “It is selfish to put your national interest above other countries’ interest and the mutual interest of the international community. […] The Chinese side is willing to have peaceful coexistence with all countries. The United States should also adapt and accept China’s development.”
As the world is faced with rogue regimes and terrorist organizations, as well as many other challenges – including rival powers such as Russia and China that challenge America, the U.S. is also engaged in an “era of competition,” Trump said Monday, acknowledging that “economic security is national security.”
Tensions are running higher between China and the U.S. regarding Taiwan, which Trump acknowledged ties with but which China claims as its territory. Taiwan is a self-ruled island.
And, tensions already run high in the South China Sea, where China continues to build and develop islands in areas that it claims are its own.
China has quietly continued building more disputed islands in the South China Sea, expanding its self-proclaimed area to about 72 acres.
And, China also recently threatened to invade Taiwan if a U.S. warship were to visit there.
China considers Taiwan to be a wayward province that it claims sovereignty over.
The National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year authorized naval visits between Taiwan and the U.S. However, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the threat hurt the feelings of people in Taiwan and was not a sign of positive relations between Taiwan and China.
China has also become angered in the past when the U.S. performs Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea, as China claims that the contested islands there are its own and it feels threatened.
The contested islands are claimed by various countries, and China does not own them. However, China has lashed out after the United States performs FONOPs in the South China Sea, saying they are military provocation.
The last FONOP exercise in August came during a time when tensions were running high in the world regarding North Korea, given Kim Jong Un’s latest threat to bomb Guam, a U.S. territory, and its two tests in July of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The United States would seek China’s cooperation against North Korea.
That was not the first time the United States sailed near islands that China falsely claims as its own. It was the third FONOP under President Donald Trump.
In May, the USS Dewey sailed less than 12 nautical miles from Mischief Reef, of the Spratly Islands, which are man-made islands claimed by Beijing.
The May incident was the first time something like this had happened under President Trump’s administration. Relations with China were supposedly on the rise, as the White House wants to ensure China’s cooperation on issues such as North Korea.