Robert O’Brien, Mr Trump’s National Security Adviser, announced the US’ document detailing its strategy against China has been published. The document, titled “United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific”, was approved by the outgoing President in February 2018.
Mr O’Brien issued a statement alongside the documents release, touting it as the “overarching strategic guidance” against Chinese domination over the last three years.
The adviser added it was released to show the US’ commitment to “keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future”.
He added: “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party.
“The US approach is different. We seek to ensure that our allies and partners – all who share the values and aspirations of a free and open Indo-Pacific — can preserve and protect their sovereignty.”
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The document assumes China “aims to dissolve US alliances and partnerships” in South Asia, and expects Beijing “will exploit vacuums and opportunities created by these diminished bonds”.
It also assumes Beijing intended to “dominate cutting-edge technologies” to “harness them in the service of authoritarianism”.
The document recommended the US act to “counter Chinese predatory economic practices” and “build an international consensus that China’s industrial policies and unfair trading practices are damaging the global trading system”.
It added the US should “work closely with allies and like-minded countries to prevent Chinese acquisition of military and strategic capabilities”.
Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, has rubbished the documents advice, and claimed it “sensationalised the ‘China threat’ theory”.
He added in a press briefing on Wednesday: “The contents only prove the malign motives of the US to contain China and sabotage regional peace and stability.
“We need to ensure that Asia-Pacific is a stage for China and US to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation.
“It should not become an arena where a zero-sum game plays out.”
Last year saw US and Chinese relations deteriorate over the coronavirus pandemic, trade issues and human rights violations.
Mr Trump has laid the blame for the pandemic at the feet of Beijing, and accused the Chinese Government of “covering up” the dangers of the virus.
Mike Pompeo, Mr Trump’s Secretary of State, has also lashed out against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
He said in July last year: “Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.”