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China Says the US is Creating an Illusion It’s Keen to Engage

China has been upset by claims of spying from Cuba, with a state-backed commentator accusing the US of repeatedly playing tricks and creating an ‘illusion’ it is eager to engage in talks

Beijing is in a negative mood about the upcoming trip to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
A state-backed social media commentator has accused the US of creating an illusion it is eager for talks with China, in the lead-up to a visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Reuters file photo.



US-China tensions have cranked up recently in the lead-up to an expected visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

And now a Chinese state-backed social media commentator has accused Washington of repeatedly playing tricks and creating an “illusion” that the US is eager to engage with China.

While not yet announced by the State Department, a US official has said Blinken will be in China for talks on June 18 – next Sunday.

The lead-up to the high-level visit has been marred by fresh US claims of Chinese spying and scathing Chinese attacks on Washington’s sincerity to improve badly frayed bilateral ties.


China Has Been Spying From Cuba For Years, US Says


‘Creating a false illusion’

Blinken, in February, cancelled a visit to Beijing after a suspected Chinese spy balloon flew across the United States. Days ahead of his trip this week, US officials, including Blinken himself, said China had been spying from Cuba for some time and upgraded its intelligence gathering facilities there in 2019, claims that Beijing and Havana rejected as false.

On Monday, Blinken said China’s efforts in Cuba were part of a global effort by Beijing to expand its presence overseas, and US actions to address this since President Joe Biden came to power in January 2021 have produced “results”, without specifying what those results were.

“Every time they say they want to meet, the United States would play a role and create the false illusion that it is eager to communicate while at the same time repeatedly testing and provoking China’s fundamental principles,” Yuyuan Tantian, a social media user affiliated with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, wrote in an online article on Tuesday.

The balloon incident at the beginning of the year was a “farce”, it said, and a request by the US defence secretary to meet with his Chinese counterpart at a security seminar in Singapore earlier this month which was rejected was nothing by a “carefully crafted” performance, it said.


Graffiti sprayed on US consulate in Hong Kong

Underscoring the negative mood around the Blinken visit, a man on Tuesday sprayed painted anti-American graffiti on the wall and a gate of the US consulate in Hong Kong.

Local TV footage showed the word “hegemony” in English and the words “double standards” in simplified Chinese characters, which are used in mainland China as opposed to the traditional script common in the Chinese-ruled city.

“Since the US has repeatedly emphasised the need to strengthen high-level communication with China, whether Blinken will visit China is a litmus test of US sincerity and political manoeuvring ability,” Chinese state tabloid Global Times wrote in an editorial on Sunday.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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