US and Its Partners Stand Together as China Exports Problems, Rahm Emanuel Says

(Bloomberg) -- China is taking its domestic economic problems and exporting them to the rest of the world, the US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said, adding this strengthens the resolve of America and its partners to stand together.

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“China is not going to win the good neighbor award,” Emanuel said in a Bloomberg TV interview Tuesday. “There’s nobody in the neighborhood that China is not having some type of either economic or strategic challenge with.”

Emanuel condemned China for what he said was a problem with over-manufacturing at subsidized prices, echoing criticisms by Group of Seven countries that Beijing was hurting the economies of its trade partners.

President Joe Biden last month unveiled sweeping tariff hikes on a range of Chinese imports. He said the move was necessary to protect US workers and businesses from companies that he accused of stealing, cheating and dumping underpriced goods into international markets.

China has dismissed the overcapacity claims, with President Xi Jinping saying his country’s exports are helping to ease global inflation and support a clean energy transition. Chinese officials have also railed against the multitude of new security partnerships the US is forging in the region, and warned against the development of something Beijing sees as a potential Asian NATO.

The Biden administration has been looking to reverse China’s attempts to isolate countries in Asia including the Philippines with help from Japan and other allies in the region, Emanuel has said. In the interview, the envoy said the US is a permanent presence in the Pacific and will work with its partners to maintain long-term strength in security and economic ties.

“There’s a reason China says, we don’t want the United States,” he said, adding that was because all of a sudden allies are “coming together, working together.”

The competition between China and the US was highlighted at a meeting of global defense leaders in Singapore over the weekend that presented conflicting visions of the region. The US touted expanding military exercises and partnerships across the Indo-Pacific, while China criticized “outside forces” for interfering with peace and stability.

“Countries from Japan to South Korea, to Australia, to Singapore, to the Philippines, even Vietnam want America’s presence because they don’t want an unmoored, untethered China that disregards their own sovereignty,” Emanuel said. “Countries prefer their sovereignty versus being told what they can and can’t have.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular briefing in Beijing that she was not aware of Emanuel’s remarks.

“China has friendly relations with nations around the world. I don’t know why he said this,” Mao said.

--With assistance from Joanne Wong and James Mayger.

(Updates with comments from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson in final paragraphs.)

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