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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • The US government launched one of its most strident attacks on China yet with secretary of state asking allies and world powers to use “more creative and assertive ways” to press Beijing to change its ways.
  • This comes after China retaliated to U.S. demanding the closure of consulate in Houston by ordering US consulate in Sichuan province to shut its operation as a tit-for-tat move.


China asking closure of Consulate

  • The Ministry also made specific requirements on the ceasing of all operations and events by the Consulate General.
  • The US’s Chengdu consulate is located close to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
  • The shutting of it would make it more difficult for the US to monitor the situation in TAR.
  • The US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston, said Beijing as it blamed Washington for making the move.

US ups ante against China

  • The U.S. Secretary of State drew on a significant cold war terminology and said China’s military had became “stronger and more menacing” and the approach to Beijing should be “distrust and verify”.
  • The comments come at a time when Beijing’s ties with Washington, as well as New Delhi, are at their worst in decades, and other countries – such as the UK and Australia – have expressed new concerns over threats emanating from China.
  • The concerns are particularly those relating to how Chinese companies may be helping the government spy on people around the world and the way Beijing may be flexing its muscles in territorial disputes.
  • It was Nixon’s visit to China in 1970s, the first by an American president since the Communists took power, that upended a Cold War paradigm and paved the way for the normalisation of relations.
  • The thaw was precipitated by a deterioration in China’s ties with the Soviet Union.
  • The U.S. secretary of state mentioned “a new grouping of like-minded nations – a new alliance of democracies” to change the way they deal with China, while he did not specify which these nations were (implying India could be included in the list).

-Source: Hindustan Times, The Hindu

December 2023