US President Joe Biden has delivered the usual double-talk, telling China that Washington seeks to stop Beijing's "aggression and intimidation" while working with the Asian power.
Addressing world leaders at the opening of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Biden said, "When it comes to China, I want to be clear .... We seek to responsibly manage the competition between our countries so it does not tip into conflict."
The 80-year leader claimed he would reverse Beijing’s growing influence by pushing back "on aggression and intimidation" but "also stand ready to work together with China."
“We will push back on aggression and intimidation to defend the rules of the road, from freedom of navigation to overflight to level economic playing field, and it helps safeguard security and prosperity for decades ... we also stand ready to work together with China on issues where progress hinges on our common interests.”
“I have said we are for de-risking, not decoupling with China," Biden added, warning he would enforce US hegemony whenever and wherever it's needed.
Biden’s double-talk comments come as he signed an executive order on Wednesday that would restrict US investment in some high-tech industries in China.
China's progress in these areas constitutes "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States" and certain US investments "risk exacerbating this threat," the order said.
US House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he was pleased to see the restrictions, but suggested more "aggressive action" against Beijing.
However, Biden administration officials have stressed that the US has taken targeted actions against Beijing in recent months, also emphasizing that they've continued to impose sanctions on Chinese organizations as well as operate military aircraft and naval ships in Chinese territorial waters.
Biden has also made blatant efforts in Southeast Asia to lure Beijing’s traditional allies into the Western sphere by promises of economic prosperity.
At the same time, the Biden administration has prioritized strengthening its military alliances in the Indo-Pacific in an effort to counter Chinese growing influence in the region.
Biden said previously that he told Chinese President Xi Jinping -- who had raised concern about the strengthening of the so-called Quad strategic security group comprised of Japan, Australia, India and the US -- that Washington was not trying to pressure China with its military alliances.
"He called me and told me not to do that because it was putting him in a bind," Biden claimed.
In the meantime, Beijing’s relationship with Washington stands at its lowest point since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two governments due to persisting differences ranging from trade and technology to regional security and territorial disputes.
“The United States has repeatedly overstretched the concept of national security, abused state power, unwarrantedly suppressed Chinese companies, and wantonly disrupted the international economic order and trade rules,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in June. “It has reached a level of unscrupulous hysteria.”
China “demands that the US immediately correct its wrong practice of politicizing, instrumentalizing, and weaponizing economic, trade, and sci-tech issues with a pretext of human rights or military-related issues,” Wang said.
The US has multiple sanctions and import restrictions on Chinese companies in past years, claiming to be helping Beijing allegedly suppress the ethnic minorities in its western Xinjiang region.
Early last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning also called on Washington to “abide by the basic norms of international relations.”