Communist Party leader Xi Jinping warned that the United States is the “biggest threat” to China’s security while touting the country’s economic outlook, proclaiming that “the East is rising and the West is declining,” according to a report on Wednesday.
“The biggest source of chaos in the present-day world is the United States,” Xi said, the New York Times reported. “The United States is the biggest threat to our country’s development and security.”
The report cited Xi’s remarks to a county official in northwest China, published on a government website.
Xi appears to be striking a balance between optimism and vigilance as China begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with other countries remaining in the throes of the fight against the deadly virus.
Xi is expected to present a plan this week for how he will shepherd China’s continued ascent to the National People’s Congress, the Communist Party-backed legislature.
He has been moving to bolster his support among the party faithful while also urging them to remain loyal.
“The looming risks and tests will not be any less than the past,” Xi said in recent remarks, the Times reported. “Our party has relied on struggle up to this day, and must rely on struggle to win the future.”
The Chinese Communist Party is facing backlash from the Biden administration, which has said it will crackdown on Beijing’s human rights abuses and the country’s strong-armed approach to the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
President Biden has addressed these issues personally with Xi in a phone call and has said he will work with US allies in Asia and Europe to serve as a check on Beijing.
But in a CNN town hall last month, Biden appeared to excuse Xi for the mass internment and genocide of the country’s Uighur population as a “different norm.”