After US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warns of China's "intent to reshape the international order", Beijing accuses Washington of seeking to "suppress China's development".

China has faced a chorus of warnings from the United States and Western allies in recent days over its growing influence and global ambitions.
China has faced a chorus of warnings from the United States and Western allies in recent days over its growing influence and global ambitions. (AP Archive)

China's foreign ministry has accused US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of "smearing" the country, responding to the American official's speech that called for action to counterbalance Beijing's influence.

Beijing hit out angrily at the speech on Friday, saying it "spreads false information, exaggerates the China threat, interferes in China's internal affairs and smears China's domestic and foreign policies".

Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China "firmly opposed" the speech and it showed Washington sought to "contain and suppress China's development and maintain US hegemony and power".

In a speech billed as the most comprehensive statement to date on China by US President Joe Biden's administration, Blinken said Beijing posed "the most serious long-term challenge to the international order". 

In the Thursday speech, he warned of China's "intent to reshape the international order", calling on countries to defend the status quo.

He also accused Beijing of raising tensions over Taiwan and said Beijing has "cut off Taiwan's relations with countries around the world and (is) blocking it from participating in international organisations".

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'Not looking for a conflict'

Washington recently launched a loose new trade framework across Asia and has set up a forum with the European Union to set technological standards.

The efforts are aimed at uniting like-minded nations as China dominates new fields such as artificial intelligence.

Blinken acknowledged a growing consensus that other nations cannot change the trajectory of China, saying that under President Xi Jinping it has become "more repressive at home, more aggressive abroad".

"We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War. To the contrary, we're determined to avoid both," Blinken said.

He added that defending the current global order, including international law and agreements, would "make it possible for all countries — including the United States and China — to coexist and cooperate".

Biden made waves on Monday by offering the most explicit pledge in decades that the United States would militarily defend Taiwan from any invasion by Beijing.

The pledge angered Beijing, which warned Washington not to "underestimate" China's resolve and capabilities.

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Source: AFP