Time to tell Xi Jinping to turn back: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi ahead of US-China talks

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San Francisco, Nov 15 (PTI) US lawmaker Raja Krishnamoorthi said the economic decline in China has strengthened America’s hand in negotiations ahead of the summit between the two countries, and it is time that US President Joe Biden tells his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to “turn back now”.

The Biden-Xi bilateral will take place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which the US is hosting in San Francisco from November 11 to 17. It will be their second face-to-face meeting in a year. Biden and Xi last held an in-person meeting on the margins of the G20 Summit on November 14 in Bali, Indonesia.

“This is the time we tell Xi Jinping: turn back now. Turn back now from this path that you are on. Keep your promises, compete fairly, stop your genocide, and stop your economic and military aggression,” the Indian American Congressman said in his remarks at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

“We must be clear-eyed, confident, and leading with strength,” he asserted.

Krishnamoorthi is the Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“But we cannot be naïve. We have to assume that Xi will do none of those things. Therefore, we need to protect ourselves and take steps to combat aggression and up our own game… by minding our P’s and Q’s,” he said. P is for protection and Q is for questioning, he said.

“But there is a chance that maybe, just maybe, just as Xi turned back from his zero-Covid policies after it became clear that his strategy was an utter disaster, he may realise that his policies, instead of making us back down, make us and our partners and our allies strengthen our resolve,” he said.

“Now as a Chicago Bears fan, I have a friendly rivalry with my Republican counterpart on the House Select Committee – namely Chair Mike Gallagher, who represents Green Bay. But America’s competition with the CCP is not a game. It’s not the Bears versus the Packers. It’s a contest over competing values, economic models, and visions for the world which have a real, concrete impact on our daily lives. It’s a contest that we, and people seeking freedom around the world, cannot lose,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“If we move forward clear-eyed and confident, I have absolutely no doubt we will win our competition against the CCP,” he said.

The United States, he said, needs to aggressively use its trade tools to protect itself from the CCP’s unfair economic practices.

“For instance, we can strengthen customs enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. And we can make sure that Americans are not investing in PRC companies under sanctions for human rights abuses or building up China’s military,” he said.

Krishnamoorthi said rather than peacefully integrate into its neighbourhood, the CCP has undertaken a massive military buildup.

“The CCP is now threatening Taiwan and ramming ships from the Philippines and Vietnam sailing lawfully in the South China Sea. The CCP’s claims of sovereignty over the entirety of the South China Sea are laughable… and have been ruled to be patently illegal under international law,” he alleged. PTI LKJ RHL