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China’s ‘Great Wall of Steel’

Tehran Times – America’s increasing tensions with China have forced Beijing to take countermeasures. Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to protect his country’s interests by transforming his military into a “Great Wall of Steel”.

Xi made the remarks in a keynote speech at the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Parliament, where he secured a third term in office. “Security is the bedrock of development, while stability is a prerequisite for prosperity,” Xi told the Chinese Parliament.

He also underlined the need to improve the country’s “national security system,” an improved “social governance system”, and the safeguarding of “China’s new development pattern with a new security architecture”.

China’s military modernization campaign which is set to conclude by 2035 will be capable of “effectively safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests” when the country’s armed forces will become a “Great Wall of Steel”, he added.

Xi also called for the end of “Taiwan independence separatist activities” as well as “external interference” by the U.S., which has been Taipei’s top arms supplier. 

The Chinese President’s choosing of the term Great Wall of Steel (dubbed after The Great Wall of China), reflects how Beijing has no ambitions to be militarily involved beyond its borders, but rather be prepared to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the face of hawkish statements from Washington.

There has been an uptick of statements from the White House that China may be prepared to regain control over Taiwan, despite Beijing insisting that it wants to do this peacefully and has made initiatives in this regard. 

But that hasn’t stopped Washington from trying to instigate a conflict by selling advanced conventional arms to Taiwanese separatist forces and senior U.S. officials making illegal trips to the island. 

The U.S. hostility is wide and varies from its internal interference in China such as military and diplomatic support for the separatist forces in the self-ruled Chinese province of Taiwan as well as White House accusations over alleged Chinese human rights violations in Xinjiang, which has a large Muslim community.

The reality is that after Washington helped create the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, many extremists from Xinjiang travelled to the two countries and joined the Takfiri organizations.

According to some Iraqi and Syria military commanders who fought off Daesh and liberated the areas under its rule, the majority of foreign terrorists detained were Chinese.

Following the collapse of Daesh’s territorial rule, many of the terrorist group members made their way back home. 

From a security point of view, it is quite natural that China would address the issue of extremists who made their way to Xinjiang. How a sovereign country chooses to deal with brainwashed individuals, who now pose a major security concern in their own backyard is up to the authorities in the respective country.

Contrary to propaganda campaigns by Western media, Chinese officials forced the extremists, who were a significant number considering the population of the country, to receive training programs to change their mindset.

The irony here is that former U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, censured Iran for saying Tehran supports Muslims but was not supporting those in Xinjiang. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran supports oppressed people around the world, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But the last people Tehran will support are U.S. sponsored terrorists. 

More recently the Pentagon has made unfounded allegations of spying with a weather balloon that the Chinese Foreign Ministry acknowledged strayed off course but was nowhere near the espionage object that Washington claimed to be.

In the field of technology, the U.S. is attempting to wage a war with Chinese tech firms that are overtaking American expertise.

Naturally, this would affect the U.S. economy as much as Washington seeks to deny it, but China has never sought to undermine U.S. technological advancement and has every right to make its major developments in areas such as semiconductors and microchips technology.

Nevertheless, the U.S. has imposed export restrictions on Chinese domestic and international companies that make these products, while calling on its Western allies to follow its lead, and some have done exactly that.

On more than one occasion now, China has referred to the U.S. as a “tech hegemony” in response to the export controls imposed by Washington.

The U.S. is also scaremongering the world with more unfounded allegations over Chinese social media platforms, claiming they are being used to transfer data to authorities in Beijing. 

The White House has ordered all its administrative agencies to make sure that employees delete a Chinese social media application within 30 days of their federal devices.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson accused the U.S. of abusing state power to suppress foreign firms.

“We firmly oppose those wrong actions,” Mao Ning told reporters during a news briefing. “The U.S. government should respect the principles of market economy and fair competition, stop suppressing the companies and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies in the U.S.”

Whereas the U.S. views Chinese progress as a competition over the future of global technology, Beijing has no desire to compete with the U.S. and maintains it has a right to advance its technology.

This is while there is widespread evidence that U.S.-based social media platforms are being used to not only collect data on behalf of the Pentagon but also stoke unrest in different regions of the world. 

Washington is stoking tensions with Beijing as its warships sail in the South China Sea every year.

China has never sailed its warships off U.S. waters and God forbid what the Pentagon’s reaction would be if it did.

The international community witnessed the U.S. hysteria over a Chinese weather balloon; only God knows how it would react to a warship nearing its borders.

The facts on the ground show the U.S. hegemony is declining, which is good news for international peace and stability.

Yes, America continues to showcase itself to the world as the number one power on the planet, but then again so did the Titanic. 

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