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Biden Warns of Economic Peril from China’s Growing Power

President Biden cautioned on Thursday that China’s economic challenges, including high unemployment and an aging workforce, make it a significant concern for the global economy and a potential threat to other nations.

During a fundraising event in Park City, Utah, the president stated, “When bad folks have problems, they do bad things.” This statement is the latest in a series of criticisms Biden has made about China, often in the context of fundraising events for his presidential campaign, while his administration works to ease tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

Previously, at a fundraising event in California, Biden referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator” who was unaware of a spy balloon that flew over the United States. The balloon was eventually shot down by the U.S. military.

On Thursday night, Biden expressed his desire for a “rational relationship with China” while emphasizing that he sees China as America’s primary economic competitor. He added, “I don’t want to hurt China, but I’m watching.”

These remarks highlight the complex diplomatic balancing act the president and his administration face as they seek to ease tensions with China, while addressing the economic and military threats posed by the country and its Communist leadership.

Relations between the two nations have soured due to incidents such as the spy balloon and the discovery of malicious computer code inserted by China into networks controlling critical infrastructure around U.S. military bases.

Biden has emphasized his desire for competition rather than conflict with China, taking measures to minimize the potential for direct military clashes in areas like the South China Sea and Taiwan. American officials have recently held meetings with their Chinese counterparts, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is expected to visit China in the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, the president has taken decisive actions to contain China’s rise and limit its access to U.S. developed technologies with military applications. He recently signed an executive order banning American investment in certain Chinese technology industries that could enhance Beijing’s military capabilities. In response, the Chinese government hinted at retaliation and accused the U.S. of politicizing and weaponizing trade.

Biden’s comments on Thursday may complicate efforts to schedule a face-to-face meeting between him and Chinese President Xi in the coming months. The two leaders have not met in person since November 2020. The White House has not confirmed whether a meeting will occur at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later this year, which Xi is expected to attend.

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