China says it will ‘never seek hegemony’
China has condemned the US’ new National Defense Strategy (NDS), saying American policy is driven by “the logic of domination,” while insisting that Beijing will never seek “hegemony” over other nations.
Asked about the Pentagon’s 2022 NDS released in late October – which declares that China poses the “most consequential and systemic challenge” to US national security – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the document “plays up major-country competition and deliberately misrepresents China’s foreign and defense policies.”
“It is driven ostensibly by a Cold War zero-sum mentality and the logic of domination and hegemonism and says everything about the ill intention of the US to contain and suppress China under various false pretexts,” the spokesman continued, adding that his country will reject all “attempts to blackmail, contain, blockade and exert maximum pressure.”
While the new NDS claims China has used its growing military and economic power to undermine US alliances across Asia, Zhao insisted Beijing’s foreign policy is aimed at “upholding world peace and promoting common development” between nations.
“No matter what stage of development we reach, we will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism,” he said, urging Washington to “follow the trend of peace and development, abandon the Cold War zero-sum mentality, stop viewing today’s world and China-US relations from a confrontational perspective, and stop distorting China’s strategic intentions.”
The administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared China to be America’s top competitor and foremost concern, putting heavy focus on the country in its new NDS, as well as in a separate Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen significantly since August, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite loud objections from Beijing, which sees the island as part of its own territory. Though the trip prompted an unprecedented round of Chinese military drills in the air and waters surrounding Taiwan, Western delegations have nonetheless continued to visit Taipei in the months since, with Germany sending lawmakers on a junket there last week.