The US defense secretary Mark Esper cast China as an emerging threat to world order evoking a strong answer from Beijing which blamed Washington of being involved in “smear campaign”
Esper, while addressing the public at the Munich Security Conference 2020, condemned China that he said beat the Pentagon’s list of potential adversaries, then Russia and “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran.
Mark Esper said, “They have said that by 2035, the PRC intends to complete its military modernisation, and, by 2049, it seeks to dominate Asia as the pre-eminent global military power,”
Esper blamed China that it allegedly represses its people and warns its neighbors. He also blamed China for thieving Western know-how and looking for “advantage by any means and at any cost”.
“We want China to behave like a normal country,” “and that means the Chinese government needs to change its policies and behaviors.”
“The Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction – more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture,”
He also alleged China of applying “nefarious strategy” through Huawei.
On the other hand, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said in the conference later, denied the US criticisms. He blamed Washington of involving in the “smear campaign” against Beijing.
He said, “I can categorically say that all accusations against China are lies,” “But if we replace the subject of the lie from China to America, maybe those lies become facts.”