08:38 GMT +317 October 2019
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    ‘Cold War Thinking’: Beijing Says New US Defense Bill Meddles in Chinese Affairs

    © AFP 2019 / Wojtek Radwanski
    Asia & Pacific
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    US President Donald Trump has signed into law a new US defense bill that, among other provisions, prioritizes a "long-term strategic competition with China" and calls for an evaluation of propaganda, economic tools, hacking and "defense installations," that Beijing allegedly uses against Washington.

    China's Defense Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday, criticizing the new US defense bill — National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

    "On August 13, the United States signed the 2019 US National Defense Authorization Act into law. The content of this law abounds in Cold War thinking, exaggerates the level of the China-US confrontation, interferes in China's internal affairs, violates the One-China principle and three China-US communiques, undermines the atmosphere of development of China-US military ties, damages China-US mutual trust and cooperation," the Chinese Defense Ministry statement read.

    Beijing has protested over Washington adopting the 2019 NDAA, which includes some "negative" regarding China, the country's Foreign Ministry confirmed earlier in the day.

    "We urge the US to be objective regarding China and Chinese-US relations, to strictly adhere to the One China principle and three US-Chinese joint statements, to avoid implementing the negative provisions of the bill so as not to harm Chinese-US relations as well as bilateral cooperation in the most important fields," the statement read.

    The NDAA strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews proposals to determine if they threaten national security. That measure was seen as targeting China, Reuters reported.

    Moreover, the bill sets out a "long-term strategic competition with China" as the United States' "principal priority." It proceeds to call for evaluation of propaganda, economic tools, hacking and "defense installations," allegedly used by China against the United States.

    "The US should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and US firms," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement as quoted by Reuters.

    The new US defense bill signed into law by US President Donald Trump on Monday also contains a section on cooperation with Taiwan. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and refuses to support diplomatic relations with any country that officially recognizes Taiwan.

    READ MORE: China Warns US Agricultural Imports to Fall Sharply Amid Trade Row — Minister

    China's protest against the new US defense bill comes as the world's major economies engage in a "trade war", imposing tariffs on each other's goods.

    The US-China trade dispute started after Washington imposed steep steel and aluminum tariffs and banned exports to Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.

    Last week, the US finalized new tariffs on $16 billion worth of products imported from China, the Office of the US Trade Representative said.

    China responded to an earlier proposed tariff increase from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese products with a threat to impose duties of up to 25 percent on US imports worth $60 billion.

    The Chinese Finance Ministry has accused Washington's actions of “disrupting the global supply chain and free trade system” and causing “serious damage” to the interests of China and its citizens, adding that such steps could also have a negative impact on global economic growth.

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    Tags:
    measure, trade war, protest, security, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Chinese Foreign Ministry, China, United States
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