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US will never win competition with China through dirty tricks: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-02-08 19:02

US President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023, in Washington. [Photo/Agencies]

In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden reiterated that the United States seeks competition not conflict with China.

Although that makes his administration's China policy appear more focused and balanced than the administration's earlier clarion call based on competition, cooperation and confrontation, it is fundamentally unchanged. For that reason, the US' competition with China is essentially different from that with other countries, including its allies.

The latter is for economic benefits, while the former is aimed at the containment of China.

While the Biden administration claims that it does not seek to change China's system, it is not because it doesn't want to, but because it has failed to achieve that.

Likewise, the Biden administration's stance of not seeking conflict with China is because it has realized that conflict with China will definitely not leave the US unscathed.

Meanwhile, given the size of China and its close connections with the world economy, it would be extremely difficult for it to maintain the stability of its socioeconomic life, if the US succeeded with its attempts to decouple China from the rest of the world, particularly before it realizes self-reliance on key resources and technologies.

The Chinese side will by no means be hoodwinked by the word play of the Biden administration, which is in fact for domestic consumption rather than reflecting any real changes in its approach toward China.

His call that the nation should unite to win the competition with China was essentially in line with the rest of his speech in which he attempted to extend an olive branch to the Republicans.

Taking a tough line on China is one of the few things on which the two parties see eye to eye, and Biden is clearly hoping to leverage that to get support from the Republicans for other parts of his agenda. "Winning the competition with China should unite all of us," he declared, getting to the nub of the problem: "For the last few years our democracy has been threatened, attacked, and put at risk." — threats and attacks that come, not from China or other countries, but from the intensifying feuding within the US itself, both its political system and society.

The purpose of true competition is to bring out the best of the competitors. It is not China that is trampling rough-shod over the rules-based international order, but the US with its tariffs, sanctions, clique building and proxy wars.

China is always open to cooperation with the US. And it is also open to competition that is based on the principles of mutual respect, fairness and justice, not long-arm jurisdiction and coercion.

Any competition that resorts to such dirty tricks is merely a form of conflict.

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