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Beijing asks Washington to suspend ‘China initiative’

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

Beijing asks Washington to suspend ‘China initiative’

Beijing urged the US on August 23 to “correct its wrong practice”, accusing the North American country of using an initiative to “contain China”, and to stop disturbing normal bilateral communication and 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 on August 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 Department of Justice in 2018 to probe the theft of trade secrets and economic espionage activities considered threats to US national security.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news conference that the initiative was launched to incriminate people. Such a practice disregarded justice and can only lead to wrong or false convictions, he claimed.

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, Wang said.

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

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

Also on August 23, Wang said China will not coerce, nor will it be coerced by any country, and 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 in a telephone conversation with Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on August 21.

“The ins and outs of the diplomatic spat between China and Lithuania are very clear,” Wang said.

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.

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

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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