Speaking at a Senate hearing on China’s role in the world on Thursday, David Stillwell, the top US diplomat for East Asia, railed against Beijing and called China a “lawless bully.” Stillwell’s comments reflect the prevalent attitude in Washington that China is a significant threat to US interests worldwide.
Stillwell said that there had been “particularly egregious examples of Beijing’s conduct” in the last few months. He rattled off the usual list of US grievances, from trade issues to the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang.
The diplomat said that other countries need to stand up to China’s “malign” influence. “These are not the actions of a responsible global actor, but a lawless bully.”
The Trump administration has dramatically increased tensions with China this year. Just about every day, the US takes a new action against Beijing, whether it be sanctions, military drills in the Pacific, or strengthening ties with Taiwan.
Senate Democrats announced a massive spending bill on Thursday that aims to counter China. The bill will allow $350 billion to be spent mostly on boosting US science and technology industries. Some form of the legislation will likely pass since Senate Republicans introduced a similar bill in July.